Hazlewood bowls IPL’s costliest 2022 spell

Josh Hazlewood has served up the worst figures by any bowler in this year’s Indian Premier League, getting smashed for 64 off four wicketless overs in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 54-run hammering by Punjab Kings.

The Australian paceman is normally fiendishly hard to get away, and had not conceded more than 36 runs in any single IPL match this season in his previous eight games.

But that all changed on Friday as he was hunted down early and went for an average of 16 runs an over – being savaged, in particular, by two Englishmen.

The blistering half-centuries by Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow were the key to the Kings’ victory at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium – and Hazlewood proved their main target.

Bairstow took the 31-year-old to the cleaners in just the second over of the day, clouting Hazlewood for two fours and two sixes in a 22-run over.

The paceman followed up by conceding just seven in his second over, before Jitesh Sharma hit him for two consecutive fours in his 11-run third over.

Back to bowl in the penultimate over, Hazlewood ran into a whirlwind in the shape of Livingstone, who hit him for 24 – four, six, wide, four, two, six and one.

His figures of 4-0-64-0 were even worse than Hyderabad’s Marco Jansen, who took 0-63 against Gujarat Titans earlier in the tournament.

Punjab compiled a massive 9-209 with Bairstow pummelling 66 off 29 balls, with seven sixes and four fours, and Livingstone scoring 70 off 42, including four sixes and five fours.

“It’s one of those days,” noted a happy Bairstow afterwards.

Talking of his duel with Hazlewood, he added: “There’s many quality bowlers in the IPL and sometimes you have to try to get them off their lengths because someone like him hits that length consistently.

“So you have to try to get him off that length into areas you want to be hitting.”

It worked perfectly – and, in response, RCB were never in the hunt, with Virat Kohli, who’s suffered three golden ducks this campaign, being dismissed for 20 by Kagiso Rabada.

Only Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell offered much hope, top-scoring with 35 off 22 balls but it proved far too little too late.

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