IPL 2023: Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 66 - Talking Points and Who Said What?
The Men in Pink won by four wickets and are still alive in the race for playoffs.
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Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) clinched the crucial two points in the must-win encounter against Punjab Kings (PBKS). Notably, the Men in Pink won by four wickets at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium, in Dharamsala, on Friday, May 19.
Punjab posted a competitive first innings total of 187 runs, with crucial knocks by Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma, and M Shahrukh Khan. However, Rajasthan triumphed as Shimron Hetmyer played a blistering knock following the fifties by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal. In doing so, the Royals are still alive in the race for the playoffs of the top-tier league.
Here are the talking points of the PBKS vs RR clash
Curran, Jitesh, and Shahrukh Khan propel PBKS to a competitive total
Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 50/4 in under eight overs of the contest. However, it was Sam Curran’s blazing knock which brought life into the innings as he clobbered an unbeaten 49 off 31 balls which included four boundaries and two sixes. He was further aided by Jitesh Sharma, who smoked 44 off 28 and combined for a 64-run partnership with Curran. Following Jitesh’s dismissal, Shahrukh Khan joined the party and hammered a quick-fire 23-ball 41*, featuring two maximums and four fours to help Punjab post 187 runs.
Yashasvi Jaiswal maintains his purple patch, and Padikkal plays a vital knock
In reply, Rajasthan lost the early wicket of Jos Buttler, who failed to open his account and recorded his third consecutive duck in the ongoing edition. However, the southpaw, Yashasvi Jaiswal, maintained his purple patch with the bat and notched up 50 off 36 balls. Meanwhile, Devdutt Padikkal, who made his way back into the XI, also registered a half-century before heading back to the dugout for 51 off 30 balls.
Shimron Hetmyer’s blazing knock does the trick for the Royals
Punjab got Jaiswal’s and Padikkal’s wickets at a crucial point in the contest and were slowly getting back in the match. However, it was explosive southpaw Shimron Hetmyer, who dented all the hopes of the rival team and clobbered three sixes and four boundaries in his blazing 28-ball 46 to steer the side close to victory. Though Punjab got the prized scalp of Hetmyer, Impact Player Dhruv Jurel slammed a six to win the game for the Royals by four wickets.
Winning skipper, Sanju Samson said-
"[On the NRR] At the end of the game Hettie was going well and we felt 18.5 was when we wanted to get it. With the team which we have, it's a bit shocking to see where we stand on the table. If we look back, we have a lot of things to discuss and look at it. [Jaiswal] He bats at this young age as if he has played a 100 T20s. [Expect Boult to pick first-over wicket?] Yes, every match!"
Losing skipper, Shikhar Dhawan said-
"Jitesh, Shahrukh and Sam Curran brought us back after we lost wickets. We didn't bowl well. I feel that 200 should have been a good total. I feel that all the areas were not clicking together. It is a young side so it goes up and down. As a leader I learnt a lot of things. We make mistakes and from those we learn a lot. [Spinners at the death] Today I ended up in that position because we had to take the game deep and wanted my best bowlers to bowl earlier. Last game I gave Brar that over, and learnt a lesson."
Player of the Match, Devdutt Padikkal said-
"Apart from the net sessions [it is the best I have hit the ball]. Was hitting well coming into the season, but it didn't come off well. Every game you come into the side and you want to win the game. Finally I could make an impact. [No. 3] It has been that kind of a season where I have been all over the place with the order. Doesn't matter which position I bat, I have to learn. At the start of the season not sure if i could make it. I was in a very bad shape. Thankful to everyone who supported me."