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IPL 2023: Karn Sharma and Hazlewood each take two wickets as RCB defends 126 and defeats LSG by 18 runs

At the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Monday, Josh Hazlewood and Karn Sharma each took two wickets in an outstanding bowling performance as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Lucknow Super Giants by 18 runs while holding Lucknow to a meagre 126.
In addition to the two, Mohammed Siraj, Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Harshal Patel each claimed a wicket to bowl out Bangalore for 108 in 19.5 overs because Lucknow's batsmen lacked the effort and persistence to build partnerships to chase down a modest score.
A superior net run rate after the victory has moved Bangalore up to 10 points and fifth position, while Lucknow has dropped to third but is still at ten points. As Kyle Mayers pulled straight to mid-on against Siraj on the second ball of their defence, Bangalore made an early breakthrough. In the third over, Krunal Pandya gives the game a boost by hitting Siraj for three straight fours.
However, Krunal was out in the following over after chipping a Maxwell delivery wide of the wicket and towards long-off. Opening in place of K.L. Rahul, who suffered a serious right leg injury while fielding, Ayush Badoni attempted a lofted shot but was met by a leaping extra cover.
Hasaranga was the second wicket to go, luring Deepak Hooda out of the crease with a googly and stumping him after beating him on the inside edge. Nicholas Pooran mishandled a heave to deep square leg, adding Karn to the list of wicket-takers.
K. Gowtham struck Karn for a six and four before hitting Hasaranga for another six that went down the ground. Bangalore fought back, though, when Gowtham was run out while attempting a hazardous second run and Marcus Stoinis sliced high in the air to long-off.
After being run out on the same delivery while trying for a second run after being down by a point, Ravi Bishnoi. Naveen-ul-Haq and Amit Mishra lingered until the latter stole Hazlewood's behind.
Rahul unexpectedly decided to come out to bat with Lucknow needing 24 runs off the last eight balls. In the last over, Mishra erred by lofting a ball off Patel to the keeper, giving Bangalore a much-appreciated win. However, he failed to score off the three deliveries he faced, including one that was a no-ball.
Bangalore started off their innings successfully earlier on by not losing any wickets during the Power-play. However, as the innings went on, they continued to lose wickets. Naveen took 3-30 while Bishnoi and Mishra each had 2-21 to hold Bangalore at bay.
Bangalore's batsmen were unable to break free and could only manage eight boundaries in their innings, the fewest by any side in IPL 2023 thus far, except for a 44 from skipper Faf du Plessis.
Krunal Pandya showed clues of what would happen in the game on the opening pitch of the inning by getting turn and bounce on the ball. Pushing forward, Virat Kohli managed to get a thick outside edge past the first slip, scoring four. When Rahul hurt his right leg while attempting to stop a boundary on the final ball of the second over, Lucknow suffered a severe setback.
Du Plessis broke the deadlock by lofting Naveen over long-off for six after three overs of no boundaries, and Kohli followed suit by guiding him between backward point and third man for four. Then, Kohli ended a 3.3-over stretch without a boundary by driving through cover off a high delivery from Yash Thakur.
However, Kohli was easily stumped in the ninth over as he came down to defend against a googly from Bishnoi and was nowhere near the pitch of the ball. After that, Bangalore went downhill as Anuj Rawat pulled against Gowtham straight to deep mid-wicket, Maxwell missed a reverse sweep against Bishnoi and was caught lbw, and Suyash Prabhudessai miscued against Mishra to long-off.
In the 16th over, the rain became more intense, forcing players and umpires to leave the field. Play resumed after 25 minutes, and Dinesh Karthik moved deep in the crease to remove Mishra for six runs after pulling Naveen for four. Du Plessis cut a leg break to cover moving in from his right, and the seasoned leg-spinner recovered.
Mahipal Lomror was caught lbw by a delivery from Naveen bowling low, and Karthik was run out by an excellent straight shot from Thakur bowling around in his follow-through at the non-striker's end, adding insult to injury for Bangalore. In order to keep Bangalore under 130, Naveen took two more wickets and conceded just six runs in the last over.
Brief ratings:
Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Lucknow Super Giants 108 all out in 19.5 overs (K. Gowtham 23, Amit Mishra 19; Josh Hazlewood 2-15, Karn Sharma 2-20) by 18 runs with a total of 126/9 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 44, Virat Kohli 31; Naveen-ul-Haq 3-30, Ravi Bishnoi 2-21).

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