Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals in high-scoring thrilling match

RR Captain Sanju Samson and Punjab Kings Cap5tain K L Rahul in action

Brief Scores:

Punjab Kings 221/6 (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64, Chetan Sakariya 3/31) beat Rajasthan Royals 217/7 (Sanju Samson 119, Riyan Parag 25, Arshdeep Singh 3/35) by 4 runs

Punjab Kings (PBKS) registered a thrilling victory over a spirited Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a high-scoring match 4 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. 

The Kings skipper K L Rahul led from the front with a defining knock of 91 before Arshdeep Singh defended 13 runs in the last over, helping the side seal a 4-run win. 

Chasing a humongous total of 221, Royals needed a powerful and explosive start from their openers. But they were denied the same as Mohammad Shami and Arshdeep Singh held on to catches off their own bowling to dismiss Ben Stokes and Manan Vohra respectively.

Samson and Jos Buttler had a mountain of runs to climb, but they didn’t let the pressure of early wickets affect them.

Buttler counter-attacked Riley Meredith in the fourth over, welcoming the right-arm pacer in the IPL with four fours in a row. Sanju Samson then creamed two fours in the sixth over off Arshdeep as RR moved to 59/2 at the end of powerplay.

Jhye Richardson was back into the attack after conceding 13 runs in the first over and managed to get rid of the dangerous-looking Buttler, cleverly deceiving the right-hander with a slower delivery.

The RR skipper though, continued playing his shots with the help of his supreme timing and struck a fifty on his IPL captaincy debut. 

Shivam Dube, who joined Samson, had a short stay at the crease after he holed out into the deep, granting Arshdeep his second wicket of the innings.

With 6 overs to go, Riyan Parag smashed the ball right from ball one, making things easier for his skipper at the other end. There was no shortage of entertainment as the Samson-Parag duo were on a roll, hammering 20 runs off the 16th over bowled by Murugan Ashwin.

With 48 required off the final four overs, skipper Rahul brought Shami back into the attack and the pacer scalped the vital wicket of Riyan Parag in his final over of the match.

There was no stopping the RR skipper though as the right-hander brought up a magnificent century, becoming the first batsman to get a hundred on IPL captaincy debut.

However, PBKS managed to dismiss Rahul Tewatia as Meredith picked his maiden IPL wicket in the penultimate over.

Samson had laid the foundation and now had the challenge to finish the innings for the team with 13 runs required off the final six deliveries.

Arshdeep, who had already scalped two wickets in the match was given the ultimate responsibility to bowl the final over. The left-arm pacer bowled phenomenally and varied his pace to perfection. With 5 runs required off the last ball, Samson sliced the ball in the air, into the deep and Deepak Hooda took a fine running catch, helping PBKS win the nail-biter of a match. 

Earlier, PBKS were put in to bat. The strong and promising duo of PBKS – skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – were up and running, smashing 21 runs off the first two overs.

But, Chetan Sakaria, who was playing his maiden IPL game provided an early breakthrough for the Royals, dismissing Agarwal for 14 in the third over.

Rahul was then joined by Chris Gayle, who muscled a boundary off Mustafizur Rahman, as PBKS finished the powerplay at 42/1.

Rahul got a life in the 7th over after he was dropped by Ben Stokes in the outfield, off Shreyas Gopal’s bowling.

The boundaries kept flowing off the bat for both Rahul and Gayle as the duo played some crisp shots, adding 24 runs in the next two overs to push RR on the backfoot.

RR were desperately in need of a wicket and it was Riyan Parag, who got the big wicket of Gayle as Stokes, stationed at long-on, dived in front and grabbed a stunner to make up for his earlier drop.

Rahul, however, was going strong on one end, as he brought up his first fifty of the season in style with a maximum in the 13th over.

Hooda joined the party and got going in no time, clobbering 5 huge sixes over the course of the 13th and 14th over. First, he smashed two sixes off the medium pace of Shivam Dube, and then took Shreyas Gopal to the cleaners, with three sixes. 

PBKS were strongly placed at 161-2, with five overs to go. The Royals were struggling to pick up a wicket with both Hooda and Rahul eying to finish on a high note. The destructive duo added 26 runs off the next two overs before Hooda’s fine innings came to an end, in an attempt to clear the ropes once again.

Nicholas Pooran didn’t disturb the scorers after the left-hander got out for a first-ball duck, thanks to a spectacular catch by Sakariya, who continued to shine on his debut. The PBKS skipper, on the other end, marched on to the nineties but RR finally got their man, after brilliant work in the outfield by Tewatia. While Sakariya scalped two wickets in the final over, PBKS ended their innings with a commanding total of 221/6.


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