The Royal Challengers Bangalore lost their opening IPL match against the Punjab Kings by five wickets despite Faf du Plessis’ batting efforts.
Bangalore’s new captain smashed 88 off 57 balls (three fours and seven sixes) and put on a fiery stand of 118 off 61 balls with predecessor Virat Kohli (41*) as his side posted 205-2.
Punjab, led by new skipper Mayank Agarwal, reached their target in 19 overs with Shahrukh Khan (24*) and Odean Smith (25* off eight balls) at the crease.
Agarwal (32), Shikhar Dhawan (43) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (43) also contributed to the team’s winning start as they hunt for their maiden IPL title.
“We dropped Odean [on one] and he’s a really powerful hitter. You need to hold on to your chances. The cliche of catches win watches,” Du Plessis said.
On his own batting and captaincy, Du Plessis said, “I am tired!”
“It was tough to start with the bat today. The first four overs, the ball was swinging, I was one off 10, I guess. Clutching the bat a bit hard but pleasing to get through it.”
The 37-year-old, who was signed by Bangalore for more than $900,000 in the auction, made the most of a dropped catch by Shahrukh on seven to raise his fifty with two sixes off Smith.
The former Proteas Test captain is an IPL veteran, making his debut for the Chennai Super Kings in 2012 and a star of the side’s most recent and fourth title triumph last year.
© Agence France-Presse