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IPL 2022

Du Plessis hails 'great asset' Karthik after Bangalore's IPL win



Photo: IPL

|| AFP ||

Skipper Faf du Plessis on Tuesday praised Dinesh Karthik for his "composure under pressure" after the wicketkeeper-batter steered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a four-wicket IPL win over Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.

Chasing 170 for victory, Bangalore were in trouble at 87-5 when Karthik (44 not out) and Shahbaz Ahmed (45) put on an attacking partnership of 67 to achieve the target with five balls to spare in Mumbai.

The effort trumped Jos Buttler's unbeaten 70 that steered Royals to 169-3 and two wickets by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who rattled the Bangalore batting before the Karthik-Ahmed blitz.

"To pull it out of nowhere, you need some great characters and DK is as great a character as you can get," Du Plessis said after his team's second successive victory after their opening loss this season.

"His composure under pressure is amazing. He is really calm and such a great asset to us."

Karthik, who has remained unbeaten in the three matches so far, took on Ravichandran Ashwin in a 21-run over and finished with seven fours and one six in his 23-ball blitz.

The left-handed Shahbaz was equally destructive as he took on the Royals bowlers including Trent Boult for a four and six before being bowled by the New Zealand left-arm quick.

Karthik, 36, stood firm with Harshal Patel who hit the winning six to hand Royals their first loss in three games.

Karthik, who last played a white-ball international in 2019 and was picked by Bangalore in the February auction, said he is "not done yet".

"I made a conscious effort to do justice to myself. Felt I could have done better in the last few years," said man of the match Karthik.

"The way I've trained has been different. I was telling myself I'm not done yet. I have a goal and I want to achieve something."

Earlier Buttler, who made 100 in the team's previous win over five-time champions Mumbai Indians, and Shimron Hetmyer, who made 42 off 31 deliveries, boosted Bangalore's total.

The right-left batting pair put on an unbeaten stand off 83 for the fourth wicket as they plundered 42 runs off the final two overs after being put into bat first.

Buttler raised his fifty with a hit over the fence and smashed six sixes in his 47-ball knock.

In reply Du Plessis and Anuj Rawat started strongly with an opening stand of 55 before Chahal broke through to send back the veteran South African out for 29.

Chahal then ran out of Virat Kohli, for five, at the non-strikers end and the upbeat bowler bowled David Willey on the next ball.

But Karthik and Shahbaz built a winning partnership for Bangalore, who hunt for their maiden IPL title.