A captain’s knock of an unbeaten 85 by Shikhar Dhawan along with Prabhsimran Singh’s 60 followed by a four-fer by Nathan Ellis helped Punjab Kings (PBKS) clinch a final-over thriller against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 8 of the IPL 2023 here at Barsapara Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Dhawan’s unbeaten 85 along with Prabhsimran Singh’s maiden half-century helped PBKS set a 198-run target. In reply, after a slow start, Royals turned the momentum into their favour but fell short of 5 runs in front of Sam Curran’s brilliant display in the final over.
For Royals, captain Sanju Samson top scored with 42 off 25 while Shimron Hetmyer made a crucial 36 off 18 to take the game into the final over.
RR started the chase with a strange batting line-up as Ravichandran Ashwin came in to open with Yashasvi Jaiswal because Jos Buttler had gone off the field immediately after taking a catch in the last over of the Punjab Kings’ innings.
Chasing 198, the Royals got off to a dismal start as they were reduced to 26/2 within four overs. Then skipper Sanju Samson and Buttler took the Punjab bowlers to cleaners with their well-timed shots before Nathan Ellis caught and bowled the big fish Buttler for 19. The royals were reeling at 57/3 at the end of the powerplay.
Ellis struck again in the 11th over to pile further misery on the Royals as he trapped skipper Samson for 42, reducing RR to 91/4. Then, Riyan Parag infused life into the game with a six over mid-wicket off Rahul Chahar in the 12th over. He then pumped over the long-on for another one in the next over.
Ellis claimed his third scalp in the 15th over, dismissing Parag for 20 off 12. In the same over, he cleaned up Devdutt Padikkal on a length ball, picking up his fourth wicket and making the task tougher for the Royals.
Then, Shimron Hetmyer and Dhruv Jurel went for hits to keep the Royals’ hopes alive, bringing the equation to 34 runs in 12 balls. In the penultimate over, Dhruv Jurel slammed a couple of fours and a six, bringing the equation to 16 in 6.
Sam Curran started the final over by giving a single and a double. On the third ball of the over, Hetmyer got run out, and 12 were needed off three balls to win. But Curran held his nerve and gave away just seven runs off the next three deliveries as PBKS wrapped up the win.
Earlier batting first, Prabhsimran and Dhawan gave PBKS a strong start as they posted 63 for no loss at the end of the Power-play.
Afterwards, RR bowlers kept PBKS’ run rate in check with just two big hits coming in the next four overs. In between, Prabhsimran completed his maiden IPL half-century off 28 deliveries with a single in the eighth over before falling to Holder in the tenth over for 60.
Halfway through, PBKS were 92 for 1. In the 11th over PBKS suffered a blow as Bhanuka Rajapaksa was taken off the field by the physios after getting hit in the forearm on his right hand by Dhawan’s shot.
Jitesh Sharma then came out to join Dhawan and the duo accelerated the run rate with their calculated batting and stitched a 66-run stand for the second wicket, which Chahal broke in the 16th over, dismissing Jitesh for 27.
On the very first ball of the 17th over, Ravichandran Ashwin cleaned up Sikander Raza for 1 as the Royals lost two wickets in no time. In the final over, Holder got his second in the form of Shahrukh Khan.
With 45 runs coming off the last three overs for the loss of two wickets, PBKS posted a total of 197 for four in 20 overs.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 197/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 86 not out, Prabhsimran Singh 60; Jason Holder 2-29) beat Rajasthan Royals 192/7 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 42, Shimron Hetmyer 36; Nathan Ellis 4-30, Arshdeep Singh 2-47) by 5 runs
Press Release, Source: IANS