Royal Challengers Bangalore recorded an 18-run win in a low-scoring game against Lucknow Super Giants to gain two vital points at the Ekana Stadium on Monday, May 1.
The visiting side posted 126 runs in the first innings courtesy of a 50-run stand between Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli. However, the middle order failed to capitalise on the solid foundation and crawled their way to a modest total.
Despite a lukewarm performance with the bat, Bangalore rattled the Super Giants in the powerplay as they scalped four wickets to dent them early.
Coming into the playing XI after a long gap due to injury, Josh Hazlewood feels Mohammed Siraj's first over set the tone for them in the second innings.
"It started in Siraj's first over. I think a wicket and one run offered so it was a great start, and we sort of jumped on the back of that. At half-time, we knew we were still in the game because it was a tough wicket to bat on. The new ball was crucial, and we knew we had to attack and take early wickets.
"We knew that we had to bowl them out to win the game. If they had seven-eight batters bat the 20 overs, they would get 120 runs. It was all about attacking and taking wickets," Hazlewood said in the post-match press conference.
After a high-scoring venue at the Chinnaswamy to a sluggish surface in Lucknow, Hazlewood believes it is good to have at least one pitch assisting the bowlers.
" It was a good change-up as we have played a lot of cricket at Chinnaswammy, which has been a batting paradise. I think it's good to have occasionally one for the bowlers in a low-scoring affair. It was a tight and exciting match, and one team was really never out of it," he said.
"Lucknow will play a number of games at this venue, and I feel they will adapt well and play better in the future," he added.
The right-arm pacer also shared an update on his recovery and stated that it was good to be back on the field as he prepares for the summit clash of the World Test Championship and the Ashes.
"The body is feeling pretty good, and it was nice to have a hit out in the middle tonight. It is just so different playing in a game as compared to training. Achilles is feeling pretty good. I bowled three overs and fielded for 20, and tonight was a stepping stone," he concluded.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will now face Delhi Capitals in an evening encounter on Saturday, May 6, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.