IPL 2023: Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals in thrilling encounter by 5 runs
In a high-scoring and entertaining match between Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Punjab Kings emerged winners by five runs as they held their nerves to record second consecutive victory in the 2023 edition of the world’s biggest T20 cricket tournament.
Punjab Kings, who batted first at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati which is the other home ground for Rajasthan Royals, scored 197/4 in their 20 overs with opening batsman Prabhsimran Singh scoring 60 from just 34 balls while their captain Shikhar Dhawan producing his best knock in recent times, making 86 from just 56 balls with nine boundaries and three sixes.
Opening pair of Prabhsimran Singh and Shikhar Dhawan provided Punjab with a strongest start possible, as the two batsmen added 90 runs for the first wicket from just 9.4 overs. Prabhsimran Singh was the more aggressive among the two opening batsmen as he hit seven boundaries and three sixes to make 60 from just 34 balls.
While Bhanuka Rajapaksa did not have a successful outing with the bat in the second IPL game this season 400 gems, Jitesh Sharma scored 27 from 16 balls with two boundaries and a 6 to record another strong performance with the bat.
Towards the end of the innings, Shah Rukh Khan made 11 from 10 balls with 14 while Sam Curran was unbeaten on the crease for one.
For Rajasthan Royals, spin bowler Yuzvendra Chahal was expensive giving away 50 runs in his four overs for just one wicket whereas Jason Holder claimed 2/29 from his four overs and Ravichandran Ashwin took one wicket for 25 runs.
In their reply, Rajasthan Royals surprised everyone when they promoted Ravichandran Ashwin to bat in the opening slot along with Yashasvi Jaiswal and the move did not work out well for them. Ravichandran Ashwin was dismissed for a four ball duck by Arshdeep Singh whereas Yashasvi Jaiswal who had scored a brilliant half-century in the first match, could manage only 11 from one ball.
Rajasthan Royals wicket-keeper batter Jos Buttler was removed by Nathan Ellis for 19 who also dismissed the dangerous Sanju Samson for 42, after the Rajasthan batsmen faced 25 balls to hit five boundaries and a six. Devdutt Padikkal mid-21 from 26 balls whereas Riyan Parag scored 20 from 12 balls but Rajasthan just did not find any batsmen in their ranks who could bat long enough.
However, it was a late fightback from Shimron Hetmyer (36) and Dhruv Jurel (32) who took Rajasthan Royals very close to victory but they could not go past the finish line. Shimron Hetmyer made 36 from 18 balls with three sixes and four whereas general was unbeaten on 32 from 15 balls with three sixes three boundaries and two sixes.
With 34 runs needed from the final two overs, Rajasthan Royals managed 18 runs from the second last over and needing 19 to win in the last six balls, they could manage only 11 runs to lose the game by five runs.