RR vs PBKS: A scintillating all-round performance by a clinical Rajasthan Royals side helped them crush Punjab Kings by five wickets in their final pool stage fixture at the ongoing edition of the Tata Indian Premier League 2023. With this victory, Rajasthan climbs to the fifth position anticipating a heavy defeat of Bangalore and Mumbai in order to qualify for the Playoffs.
Winning the toss at the iconic Himachal Pradesh State Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala, Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson made an exemplary decision to bowl first. Batting first, Punjab rode on to a sluggish start but managed to finish at 187/5 in their first innings of 20 overs.
Punjab lost quick wickets in the start as Prabhsimran Singh (2), Dhawan (17), Taide (19) and Livingstone (9) failed to capitalize on their innings. As a result, the hosts were struggling at 50/4. Sam Curran (49) and Jitesh Sharma (44) then came to the rescue and stitched a crucial 64-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Curran stood strong at the end as Shahrukh Khan (41) came in and powered an explosive knock. The two together anchored a solid unbeaten stand of 73 runs for the sixth wicket. For Rajasthan Royals, Navdeep Saini (3/40) starred in the bowling attack whereas Trent Boult and Adam Zampa chipped in a wicket apiece.
RR vs PBKS: Rajasthan survived Punjab’s scare & kept their Playoff Hopes alive
Chasing a mammoth target of 188 runs, Rajasthan Royals was off to a nightmare start after losing ace batsman Jos Buttler on a duck. Yashasvi Jaiswal (50) and Devdutt Padikkal (51) then staged a vital rescue and put up a splendid match-winning partnership of 73 runs for the second wicket.
In the end, a contemplating knock from Shimron Hetmyer (46) and a sizzling cameo from Riyan Parag (20) helped Rajasthan to hunt the target in 19.4 overs. Dhruv Jurel (10) scored the winning runs and smashed a solid six in the last over. For Punjab Kings, Kagiso Rabada (2/40) led the bowling attack but stood expensive whereas Sam Curran, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, and Rahul Chahar grabbed a wicket apiece.
With this win, RR now climbs up to the fifth position on the Points Table. They could still qualify for the playoffs if RCB suffers a huge defeat at the hands of GT & Mumbai Indians lose their fixture against SRH. While Punjab Kings campaign has ended as they now occupy eighth position with six points in their kitty.
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