Match 43 of IPL 2023 between RCB and LSG subverted everyone’s expectations. What was expected to be a batting brawl ended up being a bowling fest.
Both teams entered the cricket match with the reputation of being batting-centric squads. However, the pitch at Ekana Sports City had different plans. The slow pitch helped bowlers, especially spinners, to create a rare bowling-friendly game.
After choosing to bat first, RCB started the game on a steady note. Both Kohli (31 off 30) and Faf (44 off 40) provided a stable foundation to the team. However, the difficulty faced by the batsmen was obvious as an explosive side like RCB only scored 7 boundaries in 20 overs.
In return, LSG started their inning after losing KL Rahul to an injury. The team looked in trouble from the beginning as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The RCB bowling attack pulled off an amazing performance, restricting the lineup to a mere 108 runs. The team could not even complete their quota of 20 overs while chasing 127.
RCB’s bowling attack pulls a stunner
After posting 126 for 9 in a slow wicket, even Faf believed that RCB was 10-15 runs short of an ideal target.
However, their bowling attack showed how to perfectly leverage a slow pitch. As expected, Mohammed Siraj opened the powerplay as usual, posing immense problems in front of batsmen. The in-form Kyle Mayers got out for a duck to Siraj, while the team missed an injured KL Rahul.
Siraj kept attacking from one end while Faf assigned a returning Josh Hazlewood the task to get some wickets. The bowler did just that by getting the Impact Sub, Ayush Badoni, out for 4 runs.
Throughout this IPL, Siraj has emerged as a bowler capable of getting wickets against any team. However, it is for this reason that the bowler is one of the first picks among fantasy players across the best cricket betting sites. However, Siraj was outshined by fellow RCB spinners during Match 43.
LSG expected a slow partnership from their impromptu captain, Krunal Pandya. However, the player looked in a hurry, scoring 3 boundaries during his brief batting spell. Krunal got out for 14 to Maxwell, who was sent as a surprise spinner during the powerplay.
After that, the high-quality spin attack led by Hasaranga and Karn Sharma was enough to shake the entire LSG squad. Both leg spinners ended the game by conceding 20 runs in their 4 overs.
How RCB formulated a perfect strategy to restrict LSG
RCB was expected to get an early wicket, with Siraj leading the attack. Given the bowler’s performance in IPL 2023, Faf handed Siraj the bowl on a slow wicket.
The player got Mayers out despite giving runs at an economy of 8 per over. Despite Josh Hazlewood’s amazing first over, Faf was quick to throw a surprise curveball in the form of Glenn Maxwell.
The part-time spinner completed his task by getting Krunal Pandya out. Maxwell did not bowl for the rest of the evening, showing Faf’s quick thinking. However, the match was through and through, dominated by the two leg spinners, Wanindu Hasaranga and Karn Sharma.
Hasaraga has been bowling well for RCB throughout the competition but has not gotten enough wickets. It was the addition of Karn Sharma that played the primary part in RCB’s win. The leg spinner got 2 wickets for 20 runs in 4 overs.
When following a score of 127, even a small partnership can reignite the chase. That is why it was crucial for RCB to maintain pressure on LSG while taking wickets. Needless to say that some loose shots by Pooran and Krunal also proved fatal.
However, it was the constant pressure put by the spinners that pushed LSG toward an even worse situation. This proved fatal in the late innings, as a set Krishnappa Gowtham (23 off 13) was caught lacking while converting a single into a double.
The pressure of a rising required run rate cost LSG another wicket, after which the team never recovered.
Bowlers showing new Life mid-competition
RCB has never been a squad known for its bowling attack. However, the likes of Siraj have provided the team with a great attacking option at the beginning of an innings.
Siraj’s onslaught continued in the cricket match against LSG as well. The bowler is now standing at 15 wickets in 9 matches, only behind Arshdeep Singh (16 wickets) and Tushar Deshpande (17 wickets).
Josh Hazlewood played the first game in IPL 2023, posting a tally of 2 wickets for 15 runs in 3 overs. The addition of another pacer that can assist Siraj in the powerplay can turn the tides for RCB.
On the other hand, Hasaranga and Harshal Patel maintained their performance as they have done throughout this season. It was Karn Sharma, who was playing his 4th cricket match in IPL 2023, who proved to be vital in the middle overs.
The cricket match between RCB and LSG has showcased the importance of a good bowling attack, captaincy, and condition reading.
Royal Challengers Bangalore entered the match with an extra spinner to leverage the condition in Lucknow. The move proved useful as the team restricted LSG to a measly total of 108. On the other hand, LSG suffered from a lack of partnership and a hamstring injury to KL Rahul.
With Josh Hazlewood returning for RCB, the team is expected to produce even better stats during the powerplay. The team can even experiment with Karn Sharma as an Impact Sub to keep its opponent on a leash during the middle overs.
Now that the team is standing at 10 points in 9 matches, RCB fans are expecting the team to make it through the playoffs in a comfortable fashion.