The Punjab Kings claimed a dramatic five-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League opener, despite Faf du Plessis' impressive debut at the DY Patil Stadium.

Former South Africa skipper Du Plessis made the switch to the Challengers after leading the Chennai Super Kings to glory last year.

Du Plessis mustered an impressive 88 off just 57 balls alongside Virat Kohli (41), who he replaced as captain, as the 37-year-old made his mark on his new side in emphatic fashion.

That partnership generated 118 runs from 61 balls, while fellow veteran Dinesh Karthik added 32 off just 14 deliveries as the three-time runners-up concluded on 205-6 from their 20-over allocation.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa (43) and Mayank Agarwal (32) led the Kings’ response as they chased the target of 206.

Their momentum stalled at the start of the 14th over; Mohammed Siraj dismissing Rajapaksa before Rajangad Bawa was trapped in front for a duck with the following ball.

Akash Deep claimed Liam Livingstone (19) soon after but a late surge from Odean Smith, who managed 25 off only eight balls, and Shahrukh Khan (24) saw the Kings over the line with an over to spare.

Fantastic Faf

Du Plessis hit 633 runs last season – a tally only bettered by Ruturaj Gaikwad (635) – as he inspired the Super Kings to a fourth IPL title.

The veteran began this campaign in the same vein, although his 10 boundaries (seven sixes, three fours) came in a losing cause for the Challengers.

Late surge stuns Challengers

Du Plessis' side must have thought they had contained their opponents after claiming three wickets in the space of two overs.

But Smith and Shahrukh had other ideas as their partnership brought 52 runs from 25 deliveries – including 38 in the final two overs – to complete a remarkable chase down.