Bangalore beats Lucknow in low-scoring IPL game

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LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Royal Challengers Bangalore read a slow pitch perfectly and successfully defended 126 runs against Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League on Monday.

Bangalore’s 126-9 looked under par at the halfway mark, but Lucknow’s counter-charge didn’t work on a tricky home track and it was bowled out for 108 in the final over.

Lucknow suffered a blow when captain Lokesh Rahul went off the field in pain in only the second over of the game while clutching his right thigh. Rahul didn't appear again until the fall of his team's ninth wicket. He faced three balls but couldn’t get off the mark before Bangalore wrapped up a convincing win.

“We would have taken 126 at the start of the game, but we just could not execute our plans,” Lucknow stand-in captain Krunal Pandya said.

Defeat cost Lucknow from joining Gujarat Titans atop the table. Instead, Bangalore moved into a tie with Lucknow and three other teams, just a win behind Gujarat.

Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis, who top-scored with 44, and Virat Kohli, with 31, combined in a 62-run opening stand.

Then Kohli was stumped off legspinner Ravi Bishnoi and du Plessis holed out trying to force the pace after a half-hour rain delay.

Bishnoi and Amit Mishra, who both took 2-21, strangled Bangalore in the middle overs and Afghanistan fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq with 3-30 got two wickets off successive deliveries in the final over.

Lucknow was expected to accomplish a comfortable chase at home.

But opening batter Kyle Mayers couldn’t gauge the slowness of the pitch and holed out to mid-on off Mohammed Siraj’s second ball.

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, with 2-15, also made an early impact in his first game of the season, and the spinners took over.

Legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga had Deepak Hooda stumped and Karn Sharma got rid of dangerman Nicholas Pooran for 9 as Lucknow slumped to 5-38 in seven overs.

More brilliance in the field by Bangalore fashioned two run outs and a remarkable win.

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