'So happy to see him get runs' - Yashasvi Jaiswal's 68 and Shimron Hetmyer's finishing skills take RR home vs PBKS

It got too close for comfort for RR in the end, but they got over the line comfortably.

Yashasvi Jaiswal
Yashasvi Jaiswal. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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Rajasthan Royals have got one step closer to the playoffs with their win over Punjab Kings in the 52nd match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). They chased down a stiff target of 190 runs thanks to a brilliant knock from Yashasvi Jaiswal in his comeback game coupled with a supporting role from the other batters. The Kings, on the other hand, tried hard but the Royals batted superbly to chase down the steep target and get to 14 points in their 11th game of the season

Chasing 190, the Royals got off to a brilliant start courtesy of their new opening pair of Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal. The former took the attack to the opposition from the word go and looked in excellent form yet again. But Kagiso Rabada ended his enterprising stay in the middle as Buttler miscued a scoop shot only to be caught at short third man by Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Nevertheless, he got the team off to a flying start scoring a 16-ball 30.

Jaiswal then carried on the good work done by his partner even as skipper Sanju Samson got going from the word go before throwing away yet another start. However, Jaiswal continued playing his shots and in the process, also reached his fifty off just 33 deliveries. Batting at number four, Devdutt Padikkal was scratchy to start with. But with his partner going well, it didn’t hurt the Royals much.

The boundaries coming at the right time led to the Royals needing only 50 runs in the last six overs. But Jaiswal getting out on 68, put pressure on Padikkal as the required run-rate shot up to close to 9.5. However, Shimron Hetmyer came out and played some fearless strokes even as Padikkal played the anchor’s role well while also churning out crucial fours for the team. However, Padikkal got out in the 19th over which made things interesting.

RR were left to score 8 runs in the final over thanks to a terrific 19th over from Arshdeep Singh conceding only three runs. Rahul Chahar was handed the responsibility to defend the total in the last over with the in-form Shimron Hetmyer on strike. It was always going to be a gamble for the Kings and the latter took his side home in the final over.

Bairstow and Jitesh propel PBKS to 189

Earlier, Jonny Bairstow finally found his touch opening the innings for the Punjab Kings. Luck also favoured him a bit but the England batter made the most of it smashing runs at a quick pace. Shikhar Dhawan couldn’t get going on the day but Bhanuka Rajapaksa continued to play quickfire cameos smashing 27 off just 18 balls before getting out. PBKS got off to a brilliant start but the spinners, Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, pegged things back nicely in the middle overs.

Bairstow, however, held one end up playing them out and attacking the other bowlers to eventually get to his fifty. However, he became Chahal’s third scalp of the innings who had already nipped out Rajapaksa and Mayank Agarwal. At 119/4 in the 15th over, one felt the Kings had lost the momentum after losing Bairstow for 56.

But Jitesh Sharma, promoted ahead of Liam Livingstone, stepped up scoring runs at a strike-rate of more than 200. He displayed some amazing hitting skills even as Livingstone also joined him to smack 22 off 14 balls. However, it was due to Jitesh’s heroics in the final over that PBKS managed to post 189 runs on the board in their 20 overs. The Vidarbha cricketer remained unbeaten on 38 off 18 balls with four fours and two sixes. Chahal was the best bowler for RR yet again returning with 3/28 in his four overs.

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