An elated Faf du Plessis heaped praise on his bowlers as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) successfully defended a target for the first time this season to register their second win of the campaign and pile further misery on bottom-placed Delhi Capitals.
RCB lost the toss and were put into bat, and did not have the greatest of days with the bat as they posted 174/6, a total which, during the halfway mark, looked below-par. There were genuine fears that the hosts might struggle to defend the total, but a fiery performance from the Bangalore bowlers saw the home side eventually register a comprehensive 23-run victory to make it two wins in four games.
Du Plessis, at the post-match presentation, was a happy man.
"We unfortunately have had to defend a few games in a row now at the Chinnaswamy and it's not always easy so I'm very proud of the bowlers tonight,” du Plessis said.
“It's difficult because it's the first day game of the season and also with the new rule now with the extra batter, you always feel like you need to get more.
“So even at halfway stage, 175 in a day game usually feels like a really good score but it's just that unknown factor with the extra batter but it proved to be the right score.”
It was in the powerplay that RCB did the damage as they picked not one, not two, but four DC wickets. Siraj bowled an explosive couple of overs — 1/3 off his first two overs — and that set the tone for the rest of the chase.
Du Plessis was full of praise for his seamers for their showing with the new ball.
“The way we bowled in that first six overs, not only today but so far in all the games, Siraj is bowling beautifully. In a game where it's a bit slower the wicket, generally the first six overs is the most important with the bat.
“You want to try to play positive and get ahead of the rate but the way we bowled was just unbelievable. So huge credit to our seamers in the first six."
Virat Kohli, meanwhile, named Player of the Match for his 34-ball 50, said that he personally felt at the halfway point that 175 was a winning total.
“I'd been playing really well and after I got to 50, I was targeting 30-35 runs in the next 10 balls. That's usually how I play and that would've helped us get past 200. I mentioned to the guys in the change room that it felt like 175 was enough on this pitch. It felt like it slowed down,” Kohli said.