Punjab Kings came out all guns blazing as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in a crucial encounter at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. Punjab Kings knew that they will have to win next three games and win them big in order to make an impact on their net run rate as it was well below zero. And right from ball one, Jonny Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan showed intent. By the time, they were done with three overs, they had raced to 43/0. A lot of credit also goes to skipper Mayank Agarwal who demoted himself at number four so that Bairstow gets the opportunity to bat at the top.
“He (Bairstow) is an exceptional player. His experience at the top of the order it’s not easy for Mayank who has done exceptionally well at the top to sacrifice his place and come down the order,” Punjab Kings Head coach Anil Kumble said.
“We felt that we needed an experienced guy in the middle as well with Levy, JItesh and Rishi. So Jonny went up the order and he has done a brilliant job His intent in the powerplay is amazing and the way he sort of took the game away from RCB in the first overs that set the done. “He is a very important player for us. Five games back, we sort of decided that the experienced guys would take the initiative. I am really glad that Jonny at the top of the order has paid off,” he added.
Bairstow, who was rusty during the earlier phase of the tournament, was back in his element with as many as seven sixes and four boundaries during a knock where he literally went hell for leather.
Such was his dominance that by the time six overs of Powerplay ended, Bairstow had hit seven towering sixes and Shikhar Dhawan (21 off 15 balls) rubbed salt to the wound with another one which made it eight in all.