Faf du Plessis has paid credit to Punjab Kings power-hitter Odean Smith after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) failed to defend a 205-run total in their Indian Premier League 2022 opener. The new RCB skipper has also rued missed opportunities as PBKS won by five wickets with an over to spare.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s newly appointed skipper Faf du Plessis admired the power-hitting of Punjab Kings' batters as they chased down a mammoth 206-run target with an over and five wickets to spare in Match 3 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 on Sunday (March 27) at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai.
Du Plessis hit a stunning 88 from just 57 balls, which included seven sixes and three fours, but RCB ended up on the losing side in the first match under his tenure. PBKS rode on some stunning power-hitting from Shikhar Dhawan (43 off 29 balls), Bhanuka Rajapaksha (43 off 22 balls), Liam Livingstone (19 off 10 balls), Odean Smith (25 not out of 8 balls) and Shahrukh Khan (24 not out off 20 balls).
While recollecting the crunch moments in the game, the 37-year-old South African highlighted the dropped catch of Odean Smith when the West Indies big-hitter was batting on 10 in the 17th over. Before that, RCB also dropped Shikhar Dhawan once as Dinesh Karthik missed a tough chance after failing to make use of an easy opportunity to stump the PBKS opener.
“The catches towards the end Odean Smith 25 off 8 balls. I think we probably dropped him on 10. After that, we are looking at some tailenders coming in. The cliche of catches win watches,” du Plessis said in the post-match presentation.
"We did a lot of good things in the middle. But you know what Odean Smith can do to you. So you got to hold on to those chances,” he added.
Further, du Plessis lauded the approach of Punjab Kings’ batters throughout their innings under pressure.
“There was a bit of dew out there, a tough night for the bowlers, but I thought they were pretty decent with the wet ball. Small margins, but they chased it down really well. They had a really good powerplay.
“Even the other guy, Shahrukh Khan, didn't really nail it tonight until the last couple of balls. So a completely different game if you hold on to those chances,” he added.
RCB will next meet Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in the tournament opener, on March 30 at the same venue.