Punjab defeated Rajasthan Royals by 5 runs in a high-scoring match at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati.
IPL 2023 SCHEDULE | IPL 2023 POINTS TABLE
Defending a challenging 198-run target, Ellis (4/30) took a four-for and Arshdeep (2/47) struck twice to restrict Rajasthan to 192 for seven in the last-over thriller. Punjab jumped to second in the points table after the win, just behind defending champions Gujarat Titans on net run rate.
As it happened: Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings
Asked to bat first, Punjab posted 197 for 4 riding on Dhawan’s unbeaten 86, off 56 balls, and Prabhsimran’s 60 (34). Dhawan and Singh added a valuable 90 runs for the opening wicket to set the platform for a big total for Punjab.
Shimron Hetmyer (36 off 18) and Dhruv Jurel (32* off 15) kept Rajasthan’s hopes alive with a quick-fire 62-run stand for the seventh wicket in just 4.3 overs, but pacer Sam Curran bowled a superb final over to take Punjab home. Curran kept his nerves to defend 15 runs in the last over.
Pacer Arshdeep provided the early breakthrough as accounted for both openers. The Royals sent Ravichandran Ashwin to open in place of Jos Buttler, who had walked off the field grimacing after taking Shahrukh Khan’s catch earlier on.
Yashasvi Jaiswal was first to go as he sent the ball straight to the fielder. The Ashwin experiment also failed as the senior spinner perished for a duck.
Coming at No. 3 Buttler, hit an 11-ball-19. He was dropped in the third over but couldn’t do much as he became Ellis’ first victim of the night.
Skipper Sanju Samson (42 off 25) looked in good nick as he timed the ball well. He smacked Harpreet Brar for back to back boundaries before greeting Ellis with twin fours.
Rajasthan were 89 for 3 at the halfway mark. But the Punjab bowlers managed to dry out the boundaries and with the required run rate increasing Samson succumbed under the pressure and mistimed a cross seamer by Ellis.
Ellis then sent back local favourite Riyan Parag (20 off 12) who played a quick cameo and Devdutt Padikal (21) packing before Hetmyer and Jurel hit a flurry of sixes and fours to bring the equation down to 15 off the last over.
Earlier, Prabhsimran, who hit seven fours and three sixes, mercilessly punished the Rajasthan bowlers during the first 10 overs to bring up his IPL maiden fifty off 28 balls as Punjab was off to a rollicking start. He and Dhawan added 90 runs for the opening stand off just 61 balls.
On the other hand, Dhawan switched gears effortlessly as he was 30 off 30 balls at one stage playing second fiddle to Prabhsimran. Once his opening partner was dismissed, Dhawan upped the ante as he scored 56 off the next 26 balls that he faced.
The Punjab Kings skipper was dropped on 50 and made most of his reprieve as he played the role of sheet anchor, ensuring his team had enough runs on the board with dew setting in. His inning was studded with nine fours and three maximums that came in the second half.
Prabhsimran started by smacking Trent Boult for a lacerating drive in the first over, making his intentions clear. He followed that up by slapping a six over backward square off KM Asif in the second over. Dhawan joined the party briefly with back-to-back fours in the next over.
But the young opener was brutal on Asif, whom he hammered for three fours and a six in the fourth over. He also didn’t spare Boult and Ashwin.
The 22-year-old first smacked a length ball over mid off before cutting one behind point for a second boundary. He followed that up with a short-arm pull over the midwicket region for a maximum.
The introduction of spin didn’t bother Prabhsimran either as he continued his boundary hitting spree, hitting Ashwin to two consecutive fours as Punjab raced to 63/0 in the Powerplay.
With a half-century in his kitty, Prabhsimran welcomed back Boult for his second spell with a flat-batted six down the ground.
His fabulous innings came to an end, courtesy Jason Holder and Buttler, who took a sensational catch, diving forward from long on.
Punjab were handed another blow as Dhawan’s powerful drive hit the big-hitting Bhanuka Rajapaksa in his right arm, forcing the Sri Lankan to retire hurt on 1.
A spectator for most part of Prabhsimran’s innings, Dhawan upped the ante as he played some well-timed shots to get to his half century in 36 balls.
Jitesh Sharma showcased his batting prowess in his 15-ball 27 that included an 89m monstrous six off Boult.
Spinners Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal were able to stem the run flow momentarily as they picked the wickets of Jitesh and Sikandra Raza in quick succession.
Holder (2/29) then took a wicket and conceded just seven runs to restrict Punjab under the 200-run mark.
(With inputs from PTI)