England cricketing great Kevin Pietersen has likened the controversial LIV Golf International Series to the formation of the Indian Premier League and hopes golf can soon settle its differences.

Pietersen was no stranger to controversy as a talented multi-format player, with his commitment to England questioned after the inaugural IPL, when lucrative T20 franchise cricket was born.

The South Africa-born batter captained England for just three Tests and 12 ODIs before his resignation and ultimately announced his international retirement in 2012 after scheduling disagreements – only to soon return.

Pietersen reportedly took issue with the strain put on players by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), with their involvement in franchise cricket around the world limited.

The 42-year-old, who suggested English players were jealous of those offered lucrative IPL contracts, spent the latter stages of his career in various domestic leagues, appearing in tournaments across India, Australia, Pakistan and the Caribbean.

Having been bought for a whopping £1.1million by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second edition of the then-controversial IPL in 2009, Pietersen remains aware of the potential for differences of opinion when it comes to new beginnings in sport.

LIV Golf has come under intense scrutiny, with vocal opponents criticising the Saudi-backed breakaway league, which offers lucrative prize funds that the PGA Tour is yet to compete with.

Ten major champions have defected to LIV Golf, leaving a cloud hanging over the final major of the year, The Open Championship, where the R&A has allowed breakaway players to feature despite their PGA Tour bans.

Pietersen, speaking after playing the Old Course, St Andrews ahead of The 150th Open on Monday, hopes the issues between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour will soon be resolved.

"I don't really have a take on it because it doesn't matter what I think," he said. 

"But having been part of the Indian Premier League and franchise cricket around the world, I think eventually – and I hope – that everything just merges and everybody lives as one happy family in the future.

"Sport is such a unifying thing. It unifies people, it unifies countries, unifies teams, and the ability to make it into something great is important.

"So, I just hope that for the greater good of the sport, things happen in the next few years. Clearly, there was going to be an outcry at the start by certain people in certain countries. 

"But let's hope that in two, three years' time, golf is celebrated for the great game that it is."

Pietersen has been offered the chance to play at St Andrews before the major starts and believes the short distance of the course may offer the injury-hampered Tiger Woods a chance of success.

"These guys are just so special. I mean, they are quite something when they perform to the calibre of performances that we see these kinds of freak shows," he added.

"[Xander] Schauffele comes in with great form, having won three times in the last three weeks or so. Louis [Oosthuizen] as well, he won, and then he got a runner-up.

"I think you come in here with experience and – you can relate it back to cricket – there are certain grounds in the world that you go to [where] you think, 'Okay, I have a real good chance here because I know this place. I love this place and I know how to bat here.'

"So I think, in terms of golf, there will be a few players that say, 'Yep, I know this place. I like this place'. 

"Maybe even Tiger, this is not a hard walk; we walked it yesterday, this is a very easy walk. For him to be able to turn up here, show that dedication and commitment months ago towards this tournament... you never know.

"We played next to him yesterday, and he played in front of us. There's a crazy sound that comes off the back when he hits, it's very special."

The latest episode in Jos Buttler's outstanding 2022 IPL took Rajasthan Royals through to the final and a rematch with Gujarat Titans.

The Royals were beaten by the Titans in the first qualifier, forcing them to face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday for a place in the season's showpiece.

Buttler ensured RCB were soundly beaten, smashing an unbeaten 106 off 60 balls to clinch a seven-wicket victory.

The Royals still had 11 balls to spare when Buttler's sixth six completed the job on 161-3.

None of the England star's team-mates had to pass 25 runs as he did all the heavy lifting in partnerships of 61 with Yashasvi Jaiswal, 52 with Sanju Samson, 35 with Devdutt Padikkal and 13 with Shimron Hetmyer in reply to RCB's 157-8.

A stunning Buttler catch had removed the dangerous Rajat Patidar (58) in the outstanding moment of the RCB innings, too, as his almost single-handed pursuit of the title continued.

Buttler blowing away the competition

This has long since been Buttler's best IPL campaign, and there remains a slim chance he also takes the tournament record. In pursuit of Virat Kohli's 973 runs in 2016, he moved on to 824 for this tournament with his fourth century. The rest of the players in this year's IPL have produced only four hundreds between them.

As well as the most runs in the 2022 IPL, Buttler leads the way for fours (78, 26 clear of second place) and sixes (45, 11 clear).

Top two tussle once again

This will be the Royals' first final since the inaugural IPL in 2008, when they took the title, but Rajasthan will have their work cut out against a Titans side who are in their debut season.

Gujarat finished two points ahead of the second-placed Royals in the points table, having won the match between the pair by 37 runs. The margin in the subsequent qualifier was seven wickets. Buttler top-scored for Rajasthan on both occasions, but their opponents have collectively shown they have the firepower to match him.

Rajat Patidar's remarkable unbeaten 112 kept Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of Indian Premier League glory alive as Lucknow Super Giants superb debut campaign came to an end.

Having seen fellow newcomers Gujarat Titans progress to the final, the Super Giants were looking to take a step towards joining them in Wednesday's eliminator.

Yet they were undone by an astonishing innings from Patidar, who propelled RCB to a 14-run win.

Patidar raced to a 28-ball half-century and a 49-ball hundred, his innings comprising of 12 fours and seven sixes and lifting RCB to 207-4.

Dinesh Karthik provided late support, hitting five fours and a six for his unbeaten 37, ensuring a hugely imposing target that proved to beyond the Super Giants.

Lucknow's chase was extremely admirable and saw them rack up 14 sixes at Eden Gardens in their 193-6.

Captain KL Rahul predictably led the charge with 79 - surpassing 600 runs for the season. 

However, when he scooped Josh Hazlewood to short fine leg and the same bowler had Krunal Pandya caught and bowled from the next delivery, the Super Giants had a mountain to climb heading into the final over on 184-6.

Harshal Patel made sure RCB's commanding position was not let slip as he delivered at the death to keep Evin Lewis and Dushmantha Chameera from engineering a late turnaround, sending them through to Qualifier 2 against Rajasthan Royals with a place in the final on the line.

Patidar an unlikely hero

Patidar was unsold at the 2022 auction, with RCB signing him at the lowest possible price as an injury replacement midway through the competition.

His acquisition now looks extremely astute after Patidar delivered the fastest IPL hundred since Mayank Agarwal's 45-ball century in September 2020.

Hazlewood topples Super Giants

Hazlewood had sent down three wides in the 19th over before finding his accuracy to claim the wickets of Rahul and Krunal.

His team-mate Harshal bowled 11 dot balls in his 1-25 and removed the dangerous Marcus Stoinis prior to Hazlewood's key salvo and RCB will need that duo to replicate their performances if they are to progress to the final.

Delhi Capitals missed out on the Indian Premier League play-offs after Tim David capitalised on a reprieve in a five-wicket win for Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

The Capitals, requiring a victory at the Wankhede Stadium to make the last four, were limited to 159-7, with Jasprit Bumrah (3-25)  the pick of the bowlers.

Rovman Powell (43) and Rishabh Pant (39) fell short of half-centuries, but Delhi's total looked competitive as the Indians made a slow start in response.

Mumbai struggled to 27-1 at the end of the powerplay after Anrich Nortje dismissed captain Rohit Sharma, who managed only two off 13 deliveries.

Ishan Kishan offered more attacking intent, scoring 48 off 35 balls before falling to Kuldeep Yadav (1-33) in the 12th over and Dewald Brevis (37) followed to Shardul Thakur soon after with 65 runs still required.

Pant failed to review when David, on nought, edged behind and the Australian capitalised by blasting an 11-ball 34 before he was removed by Thakur (2-32) to leave Mumbai needing just 15 from 13 balls.

Ramandeep Singh (13 not out) saw Rohit's side over the line with five deliveries to spare, which meant Royal Challengers Bangalore took the final play-off spot and will face Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator on Wednesday.

Brilliant Bumrah

Bumrah has been somewhat off the pace for the struggling Mumbai in this year's competition, barring his excellent 5-10 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

However, the India quick was in imperious form in the first innings of this game, removing Prithvi Shaw (24), Mitchell Marsh (nought) and Powell to take his tally to 15 in the 2022 IPL.

Pant's reviews

Pan dropped a simple chance when Brevis skied Kuldeep on 25. The skipper then ignored Thakur's advice and opted to not review when David edged behind.

The Capitals captain followed that up by reviewing a Nortje delivery to Tilak Varma that pitched well outside leg stump, capping a miserable day for the India wicketkeeper.

Virat Kohli returned to form with a crucial 73 as Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their Indian Premier League playoffs hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans.

Titans opener Wriddhiman Saha scored a brisk 31 and David Miller added 34 in a 61-run partnership with captain Hardik Pandya, who finished unbeaten on 62 as Gujarat posted 168-5 at the Wankhede Stadium.

That total was boosted by a late flurry from Rashid Khan, who smashed 19 off just six balls, but the target seemed below par as RCB's openers raced out of the blocks.

Kohli and Faf du Plessis made a blistering start to the chase, the India star reaching his second half-century of the tournament off 33 deliveries with a six against Khan (2-32).

Khan then removed Du Plessis, caught by Pandya, for 44 with the score on 115-1 in the 15th over, before beating Glenn Maxwell for pace and clipping the stumps without the bails coming off with the next ball.

Maxwell capitalised on the reprieve by blasting the next Pandya over for 21 and, although Khan had Kohli stumped in the 17th over, the Australian's unbeaten 40 off just 18 balls saw RCB over the line with eight deliveries to spare.

RCB's playoff hopes now rely on Delhi Capitals losing to Mumbai Indians on Saturday, while IPL debutants Gujarat are already assured top spot after winning 10 of 14 games.

King Kohli

Before this game, Kohli averaged just 21.45 in the IPL this term – his lowest in the tournament since 2008, when he averaged 15 – and had been dismissed for under 10 runs six times, including three golden ducks.

The 33-year-old has acknowledged he may need a break to rejuvenate mentally and physically, but he was at his imperious best here, smashing eight fours and two sixes in his 54-ball 73.

Hasaranga keeps it tight

Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed 1-25 from his four-over allocation, continues to dominate through the middle overs for RCB.

The Sri Lanka international dismissed Miller with a wonderful caught and bowled to pick up his 24th wicket of the tournament – the joint-most with Rajasthan Royals' Yuzvendra Chahal.

India star Virat Kohli might take a break to "rejuvenate mentally and physically", but assures he is in "the happiest phase of my life".

Kohli stepped down as India's Test captain in January following a series defeat to South Africa, having already relinquished his role as skipper of his country's white-ball teams.

The 33-year-old has struggled for form in 2022, averaging 21.45 in the ongoing Indian Premier League before Thursday's clash with Gujarat Titans – his lowest figure in the tournament since 2008.

Kohli, who also gave up the captaincy at Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, has not scored a century in any format since November 2019 when he managed 136 in Kolkata against Bangladesh.

While he averages 49.95 in the longest format, Kohli acknowledged it may be time for a rest.

"It's not a lot of people who mentioned it [taking a break]," Kohli told Star Sports. "There is one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi [Shastri] and that's because he has seen from close quarters over the last six, seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in.

"The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10, 11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between.

"It is definitely a thing that one needs to consider because you don't want to do something which you are not a part of 100 per cent and I have always believed in that in my life.

"So to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on, but it is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically.

"Not so much physically because physical fitness you keep up with through the course of playing cricket all the time, but it is a mental kind of reset that you need, and you want to be excited for what you are doing. You don't want to feel like you have been forcing yourself into any situation.

"It's only a thing of creating a balance and finding that balance which is right for you as an individual moving forward and I'll definitely discuss this with all the people involved – [India coach] Rahul [Dravid], the Indian team management, everyone to chart out whatever is best for myself and for the team definitely."

 

Kohli would not be the first high-profile international player to take a break from cricket to prioritise their mental and physical health, given new England Test captain Ben Stokes did so last year.

However, Kohli insists he is still enjoying his game as he looks to secure a playoff spot in the IPL with Bangalore.

"Right now, there is nothing that you can point out saying there is a problem here," Kohli said.

"I know where my game stands and you cannot come this far in your international career without having the ability to counter the situations and counter conditions and counter different kinds of bowling.

"So this phase for me is the easier phase to process but I don't want to put this behind me. I want to learn from it and understand that what are the core values that I have as a sports person and as a human being.

"As long as I'm ticking those boxes, I know these are ups and downs and when I come out of this phase I know how consistent I can be. I know how motivated I will be once the scores start coming.

"My experiences are sacred to me – whatever I have experienced in this phase or in the past as well. 

"So I am experiencing now that I value myself and I care for my own well-being way more than I would have in the past. And actually, contrary to a lot of belief or a lot of perceptions as I mentioned on the outside, I'm actually in the happiest phase of my life."

Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone produced their best displays of the Indian Premier League 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. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore secured a routine victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, with captain Faf du Plessis and Wanindu Hasaranga playing a big part.

The South African batted through his team's 20 overs, scoring 73 from 50 balls as RCB set their opponents a target of 193.

Opposite number Kane Williamson marched back to the pavilion without facing a ball, which set the tone as Sunrisers were bowled all out for 125, with Hasaranga taking 5-18.

Having won five of their first seven matches this season, Sunrisers have now lost their last four outings.

Things could not have started better for them as Jagadeesha Suchith claimed the wicket of Virat Kohli with the first ball of the match, but Du Plessis and Rajat Patidar (48) put on a partnership of 105 to rescue the innings.

Glenn Maxwell's 33 helped RCB tick along, before Dinesh Karthik came in with some fireworks at the end of the innings, hitting 30 from just eight balls, including three sixes and a four from the final four balls.

It was a disastrous start for Sunrisers, with Williamson run out without facing a ball, before fellow opener Abhishek Sharma was also dismissed without scoring by Maxwell.

Rahul Tripathi's 58 from 37 balls was the only real fight put up by Sunrisers, with Aiden Markram (21) and Nicholas Pooran (19) the only other batsmen to make double figures.

Hasaranga and Josh Hazlewood's economical bowling ensured there was never a question of who was going to win here, and Harshal Patel wrapped up the 67-run victory after dismissing Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

A captain's innings

Karthik may get some headlines after his explosive efforts in the final over, but Du Plessis was the spine of his team's innings, playing the entire 20 overs and setting the table for the win with his eight fours and two sixes.

Hasaranga and Hazlewood shine

Hasaranga was deadly with his four overs, taking out the middle order with exceptional ruthlessness, while Hazlewood was even more economical with his 2-17 from four overs.

It could have been even better for the Australian, who conceded seven of those runs in his final over to a nothing-to-lose attitude from 11th wicket partnership, Kumar and Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Royal Challengers Bangalore claimed a 13-run win over Chennai Super Kings to boost their playoff hopes and leave those of the defending Indian Premier League champions hanging by a thread.

CSK had got back to winning ways on Sunday in their first game since MS Dhoni returned as captain, but this time they fell victim to the bowling efforts of Harshal Patel (3-35).

RCB, who had lost three on the spin, were restricted to 173-8 with the bat, but that tally proved beyond CSK despite Devon Conway's second successive half-century.

It means RCB move back into the top four with 12 points with three games to go. CSK have a game more to play but are six points further back in second bottom.

Moeen Ali was excellent with the ball for the Super Kings and stunted RCB's early progress by ending the 62-run opening stand between Faf du Plessis (38) and Virat Kohli (30).

Du Plessis was caught at deep midwicket by Ravindra Jadeja off Moeen who, after Glenn Maxwell was run out, then bowled Kohli through the gate, leaving the former India captain shaking his head and RCB on 79-3.

But Mahipal Lomror (42) rebuilt RCB's innings through partnerships of 44 with Rajat Patidar (21) and 32 with Dinesh Karthik (26 not out).

CSK's once-promising chase lost impetus that primarily came from Conway's 37-ball stay.

He hit six fours and a pair of maximums before picking out deep backward square leg at the start of the 15th over. The impressive Harshal dismissed Jadeja for just three before claiming the key wicket of Moeen (34), who was undone by the slower ball one delivery after hitting his second six.

Dhoni (2) misjudged a pull shot from Josh Hazlewood as CSK lost their seventh wicket, Dwaine Pretorius (13) left with too much to do as his exit at the hands of Harshal effectively ended the contest.

Moeen continues Kohli hoodoo

Kohli has fallen to Moeen 10 times in international cricket and the spinner again worked his magic against the India great in the IPL with a superb delivery outside off that turned past the inside edge and clattered into the stumps.

Fifth title a long shot for CSK

Last season's crown marked the fourth in IPL history for the Super Kings but their hopes of equalling Mumbai Indians' record of five look to be all but over after they let some promising positions slip against RCB.

Gujarat Titans' inaugural Indian Premier League season goes from strength to strength after David Miller and Rahul Tewatia inspired a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The table-topping Titans have now won eight of their opening nine games, chasing down a target of 171 as half-centuries from Virat Kohli (58) and Rajat Patidar (52) proved to be in vain for RCB.

That pair put on 99 for the second wicket after Faf du Plessis went for a duck in the second over but Glenn Maxwell (33) was the only batter to provide a key contribution after Patidar top-edged to square leg and Kohli was undone by a Mohammed Shami yorker.

Wriddhiman Saha (29) and Shubman Gill (31) laid the platform for a successful chase for Gujarat, which Miller (39 not out) and Tewatia (43 not out) ensured despite Shahbaz Ahmed (2-26) trapping Gill lbw and then removing captain Hardik Pandya (3) to reduce the Titans to 78-3.

Their 50 partnership came in just 29 balls and RCB looked increasingly forlorn as they attempted in vain to break up their stand.

Indeed, it is now three defeats in five for RCB, Miller and Tewatia finishing with an unbeaten stand of 79, the latter lofting a cover drive to the boundary to wrap up the win in style.

Wanindu Hasaranga impressed with 2-28, but it was not enough to halt the Titans.

Kohli finds his form

Averaging 20.66 in the IPL this year, Kohli's half-century was his first of the season. He was not able to record another 100 partnership, having put on 118 alongside Du Plessis against Punjab Kings last month. RCB will be hoping he can produce more performances of this ilk to inspire them to a top-four finish.

Miller and Tewatia magic

The Titans needed 36 off the final 18 balls, with a dramatic finish seemingly in the offing. However, Miller and Tewatia took 17 off the 18th over and 12 from the 19th, with a four apiece off the helpless Josh Hazlewood in the final over finishing the job.

Riyan Parag scored an unbeaten 56 and Kuldeep Sen took 4-20 as Rajasthan Royals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 29 runs despite Jos Buttler's struggles. 

Buttler has been in immaculate form in the Indian Premier League, scoring successive centuries in the previous two matches, but he lasted just nine balls in Pune on Tuesday. 

The England international's score of eight included one boundary before he was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood (2-19) in the fifth over. 

Sanju Samson struck an entertaining 27, including three sixes, to get the Royals back on track, though it was Parag who ultimately dragged them through. 

Having anchored the back half of the Royals' innings, Parag let rip in the final over, plundering two sixes and a four to get his side to 144-8. 

Faf du Plessis elected to go with Virat Kohli at the top of the order, but RCB's former captain went for nine in the second over. 

Du Plessis tallied up 23 before he fell to Sen, who had Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck with the next delivery. 

Ravichandran Ashwin (3-17) joined the party, dismissing Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai and Shahbaz Ahmed, while Dinesh Karthik was run out. 

Wanindu Hasaranga (18) offered some resistance for RCB, though their hopes of avoiding a second straight defeat ended when Sen wrapped up the tail as Rajasthan went top of the IPL on 12 points. 

Parag takes up the mantle

With Buttler failing to ignite, Parag initially showed great composure before that explosive final over when he reached a 29-ball half-century. Harshal Patel, who took 1-33, was the unlucky bowler, with 18 runs coming from those last six balls. 

More frustration for Kohli

It was another bad day at the office for Kohli, who has failed to reach double figures in five of his nine IPL innings in 2022. Indeed, it was a bad day all round for the Challengers, who could have gone top with a win, with only Du Plessis scoring above 20. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore were skittled out for 68 as the Indian Premier League high-flyers suffered a nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The feeble effort was the lowest score posted by any team in the IPL this season, and the writing was on the wall early for a side who entered the match sitting third in the table.

South African quick Marco Jansen took three wickets in the second over of the Bangalore innings on his way to figures of 3-25, removing Faf du Plessis (5), Anuj Rawat (0) and Virat Kohli (0) to earn man-of-the-match honours. The out-of-form Kohli has made just 13 runs across his last four IPL innings.

Indian medium-pacer T Natarajan weighed in with 3-10, as only two batsmen reached double figures for Bangalore, with Glenn Maxwell making 12 and Suyash Prabhudessai top-scoring with 15.

The innings was all done in 16.1 overs, and Sunrisers charged to their target at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, with Abhishek Sharma rattling along to 47 from 28 balls, playing the dominant role as captain Kane Williamson watched admiringly from the other end.

Sharma fell when he looked to hit a match-winning six, caught inside the ropes by Rawat off Harshal Patel, but new batsman Rahul Tripathi blasted a maximum to make sure as Sunrisers reached 72-1 in just eight overs. Sunrisers climb above Bangalore thanks to this victory, jumping to second with five wins from their seven games.

Duck despair strikes again for Kohli

Kohli has been dismissed from the first ball he has faced in each of his last two IPL innings. He went this way against Lucknow Super Giants on April 19, and this is the first instance of him recording a golden duck in consecutive games in the competition.

Bangalore mark anniversary in grim style

Saturday marked five years exactly since Bangalore were dismissed for their lowest score in IPL history, when they were demolished for just 49 when chasing 132 for victory against Kolkata Knight Riders. Kohli made a first-ball duck that day, too.

Faf du Plessis and Josh Hazlewood powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to their fifth win in seven Indian Premier League games as they eased past Lucknow Super Giants.

The foundation for an 18-run win was laid as Du Plessis came four runs short of a century, his blistering 96 ensuring RCB reached 181-6 despite losing captain Virat Kohli for a duck.

Lucknow got a series of starts, including from skipper KL Rahul (30) and Krunal Pandya (42), but they could not put a match-winning partnership together.

A contributing factor to that failure was the brilliance of Hazlewood, whom RCB bought at this year's auction.

After his excellent performance against Delhi Capitals, Hazlewood provided further vindication of that decision by taking 4-25.

His last scalp, that of Australian compatriot Marcus Stoinis (24), effectively ended any hope Lucknow had of victory, with Jason Holder unable to recover the situation for the Super Giants in the final 10 balls.

RCB are level on 10 points with Gujarat Titans at the top of the table. Gujarat have the edge because of their superior net run rate.

No Faffing about

Having seen the top order crumble around him, with Dusmantha Chameera claiming the wickets of Anuj Rawat and Kohli in successive deliveries in the opening over and Glenn Maxwell departing for 23, Du Plessis took it upon himself to hold the RCB innings together.

He did so by hammering 11 fours and two sixes to record his joint-highest IPL score and his second half-century of the season.

Hazlewood's hot streak

The Super Giants must have known their luck was out when an initially ambitious looking review revealed Rahul had edged a leg-side delivery from Harshal Patel behind to the keeper.

Krunal gave them hope thereafter but eventually fell to Maxwell before Hazlewood removed Ayush Badoni and Stoinis to round off a superb display from the former Chennai Super Kings quick, who now has eight wickets in three games after taking 3-28 against Delhi. 

Dinesh Karthik led the way with strong support from Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood as Royal Challengers Bangalore snatched a 16-run win over Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League.

After losing last time out to the previously winless Chennai Super Kings, Bangalore were in big trouble early in Saturday's game when they slipped to 92-5.

Maxwell was the only batter among the top five to make a substantial contribution, and when he fell for 55 in the 12th over it looked a tall order for the team to post a healthy total.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik had other ideas though, and together with Shahbaz Ahmed, who made 32 from 21 balls, he took on the Delhi attack with gusto.

Karthik bludgeoned 66 not out from 34 balls, with five fours and five sixes, taking 28 off the 18th over as Mustafizur Rahman came in for brutal treatment.

A total of 189-5 still looked on the low side as Delhi made a fast start to their reply, but losing David Warner for 66, lbw to Wanindu Hasaranga, heralded the start of a collapse from 94-1 to 115-5.

Rishabh Pant looked to have his eye in but fell to a sharp catch by Virat Kohli as the Capitals saw victory hopes ebb away at the Wankhede Stadium, stalling on 173-7 in the end.

Karthik overshadows Maxwell's milestone knock

It was going to take something special to top Maxwell's 34-ball effort, in what was the Australian's 100th IPL game, and Karthik duly came up with a spectacular innings.

The veteran is proving highly successful in the role of finisher, and because he has been dismissed just once in this year's IPL, his batting average stands at 197, the highest of all players.

Hurrah for Hazlewood

Hazlewood took 3-28 and removed Rovman Powell and Lalit Yadav in the same over as Delhi began to crumble.

This was just the Australia paceman's second game of the 2022 IPL campaign and it boded well for what he might offer for the rest of the campaign. For now, this win lifts Bangalore to third place with four wins from six matches, while Delhi sit eighth.

Chennai Super Kings claimed their first win of the Indian Premier League season as they dispatched Royal Challengers Bangalore by 23 runs.

Robin Uthappa and Shivam Dube were the stars of the show for Chennai, who had lost their opening four games but reached 216-4 from their 20 overs.

Uthappa hit 88 from just 50 balls, with his explosive knock including nine sixes, one of which brought up a 100-run partnership with Dube, who struck a blistering unbeaten 95 from 46 deliveries.

Dube launched eight sixes and five fours in a masterclass as the RCB attack was slayed.

Wanindu Hasaranga (2-35) ended Uthappa's stand in the 19th over and dismissed Ravindra Jadeja with the next ball, yet Dube added 15 to the total from the final six deliveries.

RCB had come out on top in their previous three games but their chances of extending that run looked slim by the fifth over, when Virat Kohli (1) followed Faf du Plessis (8) back to the dressing room.

Maheesh Theekshana dismissed the former South Africa captain and soon sent Anuj Rawat (12) packing.

Glenn Maxwell's flurry came to an end on 26 and Theekshana rounded off a brilliant spell with the wickets of Suyash Prabhudessai (34) and Shahbaz Ahmed (41) to finish with figures of 4-33, before Jadeja (3-39) took two more to restrict Bangalore to 193-9.

Losing start a good omen for Chennai?

The Super Kings needed that victory and with it coming in such emphatic fashion, they may now look back to the 2010 IPL. That editiona 12 years ago was the only other time they have opened up with four losses, yet they went on to win the competition.

Chennai keep up Bangalore hoodoo

Chennai have now won 11 of their past 13 games against Bangalore in the IPL, including four on the bounce. Against no other team have they won more games in the competition (19).

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