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IPL 2023: Jaiswal, Padikkal and Hetmyer keep RR’s slim hopes alive with 4-wicket win over PBKS

Half-centuries from Yashwasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal followed by Shimron Hetmyers’ stunning 46-run knock powered Rajasthan Royals to a 4-wicket win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) in a do-or-die match in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, here on Friday.

The Royals thus put themselves in contention for the Playoffs spots as they moved to fifth on the table with this four-wicket win while Punjab Kings are officially out of the race.

After a shaky start, Sam Curran’s unbeaten 49 off 31 and Shahrukh Khan’s quickfire 41 not out off 28 balls along with Jitesh Sharma’s 31-ball 44 guided Punjab Kings to 187/5 in 20 overs.

In reply, half-centuries from Padikkal (51 off 30) and Jaiswal (50 off 36) and Hetmyer’s remarkable knock of 46 in just 28 deliveries and got them close to the finish line. Then Dhruv Jurel sealed the deal with a six helping his side to seal a win with two remaining.

Chasing 188, after an expensive opening over, the Royals lost Jos Buttler in the next over. Then, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal hit the paddle to take the Power-play to 57-1 with eight boundaries and two maximums.

PBKS managed to keep the duo quiet in three overs before Padikkal pulled over deep mid-wicket for a six and completed his fifty with a single. But Arshdeep Singh was quick to dismiss him on the next ball, ending a 73-run second wicket stand and Royals were reeling at 86/2 in 10 overs.

In the next over, Rahul Chahar trapped the big fish, skipper Sanju Samson, who looked to flick over the ropes on the leg side but did not get much elevation. The ball flew straight down the throat of Rishi Dhawan at deep square leg who took an easy catch.

Afterwards, Jaiswal and Shimron Hetmyer started punishing PBKS bowlers with their well-timed hits. Soon the former brought up his fifty in 35 balls but fell to Nathan Ellis on the next ball.

With 47 needed in 30 balls, the Royals managed to get just two fours in the next two overs. Sam Curran almost got Hetmyer in the next over but the batter immediately reviewed the decision. A flat-line on the ultra edge and Hetmyer stayed on with 33 needing in 18 balls.

Kagiso Rabada started the 18th over with a no-ball and Riyan Parag smacked it over deep mid-wicket for a six on free-hit and followed that up with another maximum. Rabada avenged it quickly he dismissed Parag on the last ball of the over.

Hetmyer smashed two boundaries off Curran but departed on the next ball after playing a brilliant knock and 9 was needed in the final over to win.

After three singles came in the first three balls, Dhruv Jurel smoked it down the ground over long-on for a maximum to seal the win for the Royals.

Earlier, batting first, Prabhsimran Singh fell to Kagiso Rabada on the second ball of the innings. But Punjab regrouped quickly with the help of Shikhar Dhawan and Atharva Taide’s strokeplay before Saini sent back Taide for a quickfire 19.

An over later, Adam Zampa came into the attack and removed PBKS skipper Dhawan, trapping him lbw as they were reduced to 48/3 at the end of the Power-play.

Soon, Saini claimed his second as he cleaned up the dangerous batter Liam Livingstone in the seventh over to get the Royals right on top in the innings.

The Royals continued to dominate the innings as no boundary came in the last four overs but Jitesh Sharma broke the shackles hitting Sandeep Sharma with two massive sixes as PBKS reached 78/4 in 10 overs.

Jitesh Sharma took Saini to the cleaners, hitting four, six and four on three successive deliveries but the pacer has the last laugh as he removed the dangerous-looking batter on the next ball. Half of the PBKS line-up was back in the pavilion as Punjab were reeling at 117/5 in 15 overs.

Then, the duo of Shahrukh and Curran took the bowlers to the cleaners as he added 46 runs off the last two overs to take Punjab to 187/5 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings 187/5 in 20 overs (Sam Curran 49, Shahrukh Khan 41 not out; Navdeep Saini 3-40) lost to Rajasthan Royals 189/6 in 19.4 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 50, Devdutt Padikkal 51, Shimron Hetmyer 46; Kagiso Rabada 2-40) by four wickets.

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