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67th match, RCB vs GT: Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 8 wickets

     The Faf du Plessis-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Gujarat Titans (GT) by 8 wickets in Match No. 67 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. Virat Kohli shined with the bat, while Glenn Maxwell put on a magnificent all-round performance. With 169 runs needed to win, RCB took advantage of their good fortune, as du Plessis and Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking and provided the squad a solid start, hitting 55 runs on the powerplay. While du Plessis remained at the crease, Kohli was in fine form with the bat, dispatching both pace and spin with ease to reach his second fifty of the season in 33 balls.

     He and du Plessis kept their good form going with the bat, putting on a century-run opening stand in the 12th over. Rashid Khan finally broke the opening partnership, dismissing the RCB captain in the 15th over, with Hardik Pandya taking the catch. GT almost had another wicket in the same over, but Glenn Maxwell was fortunate in that the bails were not removed despite being impacted by the ball. In the next over, the big-hitting right-hander smashed two sixes and a four off Hardik. Rashid subsequently dismissed Kohli in the 17th over, but not before the stylish right-hander had smashed a brilliant 73 off 54 balls in the chase, ensuring RCB's triumph.

     Maxwell, on the other hand, continued his good form and hit an undefeated 40 off 18 balls as RCB won their eighth match of the season with eight balls to spare. Earlier, GT named Lockie Ferguson to their playing XI after electing to bat, while RCB named Siddarth Kaul in lieu of Mohammed Siraj. While Wriddhiman Saha got the ball moving for GT with two fours and a six in Kaul's opening over, RCB got their first breakthrough in the third over when Maxwell caught a stunner off Josh Hazlewood to dismiss Shubman Gill. Maxwell next struck with the ball, trapping Matthew Wade in front of the wickets for RCB's second powerplay breakthrough.

     Hardik Pandya, the GT captain, and Saha added 24 runs together. The partnership was broken in the ninth over when RCB skipper Faf du Plessis' direct hit dismissed the GT wicketkeeper-batter for 31. In the next over, Hardik was given a respite as substitute fielder Suyash Prabhudessai failed to complete the catch near the ropes off Maxwell. Hardik and David Miller took advantage of the occasion, combining for a fast fifty-run outing in which the southpaw did the brunt of the scoring.

    After 16 overs, GT were 122/3, with Miller and Hardik in the middle. However, just as it appeared that the two would go all out in the final four overs, RCB responded with two quick wickets. While Wanindu Hasaranga got Miller out with a superb return catch, Hazlewood got Rahul Tewatia out in the 18th over. Hardik, on the other hand, stayed put and scored his fourth fifty-plus score of the season. On the other hand, Rashid Khan, who came out to bat after Tewatia's dismissal, produced another spectacular cameo, this time hitting an unbeaten 19 off 6 balls. GT placed 168/5 on the board, with Hardik scoring 62* off 47 balls in a captain's knock.

Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 170/2 (Virat Kohli 73, Faf du Plessis 44; Rashid Khan 2/32) beat Gujarat Titans 168/5 (Hardik Pandya 62*, David Miller 34; Josh Hazlewood 2/39) by eight wickets.


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