Rajasthan Royals knock Punjab Kings out of IPL 2023 playoffs race

A six by Dhruv Jurel six in the final over sealed a win for Rajasthan Royals, while ending Punjab Kings’ hopes of making it to the IPL 2023 playoffs. The match, played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, saw Rajasthan Royals start off badly, losing Jos Buttler early while chasing 188 runs.

Yashasvi Jaiswal started off strongly, hitting a boundary and a couple of fours in the first over off Sam Curran. He and Devdutt Padikkal ensured that the early wicket didn’t create pressure, as they played aggressively and hit several boundaries and sixes.

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At the end of the Powerplay, they took the score to 57/1. Punjab Kings improved their bowling in the following overs, but Padikkal accelerated the scoring with a six off Arshdeep, reaching his fifty. However, the left arm pacer struck back, dismissing Padikkal two balls later. By this time, Rajasthan Royals were 86/2 at the halfway mark.

Rajasthan Royals then lost two wickets quickly, with Sanju Samson also being caught at deep square leg. With the required run rate increasing, the Royals changed their approach, as Shimron Hetmyer and Jaiswal smashed three sixes and four fours in the next three overs, scoring 43 runs.

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Jaiswal reached his fifty but was caught by Rishi Dhawan in Nathan Ellis’s over. The Australian pacer bowled a fantastic over, conceding only seven runs, to bring the equation to 47 off 30 balls. Arshdeep bowled an a tight 16th over, giving away only eight runs.

Hetmyer hit a four off Curran but was out caught behind, although he successfully reviewed the decision. Curran conceded just six runs, leaving Rajasthan Royals needing 33 off 18 balls.

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In the 18th over, Rabada’s front no ball allowed Riyan Parag to get another six off the free hit ball and another maximum off the next delivery. Rabada dismissed Parag off the last ball, caught at backward point. Dhruv Jurel came replacing Yuzvendra Chahal. With 19 needed off 12 balls, Hetmyer hit two fours, before Dhawan took an excellent diving catch to dismiss him.

Curran conceded 10 runs and picked up a wicket in the penultimate over. In the final over, Jurel sealed the match with a six, with a straight shot down the ground, as Rajasthan Royals won by four wickets.

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Punjab Kings off to disastrous start

Earlier, Punjab Kings had a disastrous start, losing Prabhsimran Singh in the first over, with Trent Boult taking a diving catch. However, the recovered as Shikhar Dhawan and Atharva Taide launched a counter-attack in the second over, scoring 16 runs off Sandeep Sharma.

Boult conceded 12 runs in his second over, but Navdeep Saini disrupted their momentum by taking his first wicket in the IPL, dismissing Taide. Adam Zampa dismissed Dhawan, and Liam Livingstone also fell to Saini. Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran stabilized the innings until Saini ended their partnership in the 14th over.

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Shahrukh Khan and Curran continued to score runs, with Curran hitting two sixes and a four in the 19th over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal. The final over, bowled by Boult, yielded 18 runs, and Punjab Kings finished with a score of 187/5 in 20 overs.

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