PBKS vs RR: Sam Curran and Jitesh Sharma fire on all cylinders to shift momentum in must-win IPL clash

Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran's brilliant partnership helped Punjab post 187 runs against Rajasthan.

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Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran
Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)

The 66th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 featured a clash between the Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings and the inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Friday, May 19.

Coming in to bat first after losing the toss, Punjab Kings got off to a poor start as Prabhsimran Singh was sent packing for just two runs by Trent Boult in the very first over of the game. Furthermore, skipper Shikhar Dhawan could not make an impact either as he was dismissed for just 17 runs. 

With Atharva Taide and Liam Livingstone’s early dismissals, Punjab looked to be crumbling under the relentless pressure of Rajasthan’s bowling attack. However, Jitesh Sharma and English all-rounder Sam Curran came in with all guns blazing to stabilise the innings for Punjab. 

Curran and Jitesh put together 64 crucial runs for the fifth wicket to shift the momentum towards Punjab. Curran played an unbeaten knock of 49 runs in 31 deliveries, whereas Jitesh amassed 44 runs in just 28 balls. Furthermore, their knocks were topped off by a brilliant show from Shahrukh Khan as well. The 27-year-old scored 41* runs in 23 deliveries to propel Punjab to a total of 187 runs.

A total of 46 runs were scored off the last couple of overs, where Curran and Shahrukh took Yuzvendra Chahal and Trent Boult to the cleaners.

Yashasvi Jaiswal-Devdutt Padikkal provide thundering start to RR following Buttler’s early loss

Coming in to chase the target, Rajasthan Royals were met with the early dismissal of Jos Buttler, who was dismissed for a duck. However, as Devdutt Padikkal came in to bat after the fall of the first wicket, things stabilised for the inaugural champions as both Yashasvi Jaiswal and Padikkal took the attack back to Punjab. 

Scoring 57 runs with the loss of a wicket in the powerplay, Jaiswal and Padikkal provided a great start to Rajasthan, scoring 23 and 33 runs, respectively. Devdutt was eventually dismissed on 51, right after scoring his half-century, on account of Harpreet Brar's catching efforts off Arshdeep Singh.

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