Mumbai, May 14: Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone produced their best displays of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) season to lead the Punjab Kings to a dominant win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The England duo each hit half-centuries as the Kings hit 209-9, before Kagiso Rabada (3-21), Rishi Dhawan (2-36), and Rahul Chahar (2-37) wrecked RCB's top-order.
Glenn Maxwell's 35 marked the best individual performance of Bangalore's chase, as they finished 54 runs short of the Kings' tally.
With 14 points, RCB's place in the play-offs now looks vulnerable ahead of their final clash with table-topping Gujarat Titans, while the Kings kept their own hopes of a top-four finish alive with two games left to play.
Having been put in to bat by Faf du Plessis, Punjab quickly set about building a tough target, reaching 60 before their first loss when Shikhar Dhawan went for 21.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa followed, but that simply allowed Livingstone to step up and produce a terrific display alongside Bairstow, who struck 66 from 29 balls before falling to Shahbaz Ahmed in the 10th over.
Livingstone plundered a rapid 70 to ensure the Kings recovered, and RCB's hopes were severely dented when Virat Kohli, Du Plessis and Mahipal Lomror were sent packing within the opening five overs.
Maxwell's 12th-over dismissal all but sealed victory for Punjab, with Rabada adding the wickets of Shahbaz Ahmed and Harshal Patel.
Dhawan's blushes spared as Bairstow and Livingstone turn on the style
Although the Kings' best-performing batsmen Dhawan fell short of his season average of 40, a combined 136 from Bairstow and Livingstone propelled Punjab to victory.
Rabada on a roll
Fast-bowler Rabada led the Kings' attack admirably to end the contest with three wickets, taking his tally for the season to 21, some seven clear of his closest team-mate in Rahul.
(With OPTA Input)