Rajasthan Royals Outclass Punjab Kings To Keep Their Playoff Hopes Alive
Yashasvi Jaiswal for RR (AP Photo)
Rajasthan Royals 189-6 in 19.4 overs [Devdutt Padikkal 51 (30), Yashasvi Jaiswal 50 (36); Kagiso Rabada 2-40 (4)] beat Punjab Kings 187/5 in 20 overs [Sam Curran 49 (31), Jitesh Sharma 44 (28); Navdeep Saini 3-40 (4), Adam Zampa 1-26 (4)] by 4 wickets.
Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings were up against each other in the 66th game of IPL 2023 with their season on the line. Both teams needed not only a win but a win with a good margin but it turned out to be another close affair with Rajasthan Royals coming out on top.
RR with this win are still in with a chance now and most probably, we will have to wait till the last league game of IPL 2023 to get our final line-ups for the playoffs.
Late Flourish Take Punjab Kings to 187 After Top-Order Collapse
Sanju Samson won an important toss and elected to bowl first and Trent Boult once again delivered for his skipper with a wicket in the second ball of the game. Navdeep Saini then showed his value in his comeback game and got wickets of Taide and Livingstone while Zampa outclassed Dhawan. Punjab Kings were reduced to 50-4 in the 7th over and it looked like RR will make sure that they restrict PBKS to a low total.
However, the trio of Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma and Shahrukh Khan played good knocks and Punjab smashed 46 runs in last two overs to post a formidable total on the board.
Rajasthan Royals Finish off the Chase with Mixed Feelings
In reply, Rajasthan Royals got off to a poor start. Buttler departed for a four-ball duck as Rabada produced a ripper of a delivery. However, Padikkal who was sent ahead of Samson at 3, mixed caution with aggression nicely and along with Yashasvi Jaiswal steadied the ship for RR.
Both of them, however, departed after their fifty and Samson too could not last long. Hetmyer though stepped up at the right time and showed his power-hitting skills to take his side close to the desired target.
RR actually needed to chase the target in 18.3 overs or less to go over RCB in net run-rate but the game went down right till the last over as Dhruv Jurel finished off the chase in style with a six. This win has kept RR in the race for the playoffs and they now need various other results to go their way.