• Thursday, June 20, 2024


Rajasthan’s ‘top 2’ mission at risk as Punjab stun them by 5 wickets

It was Rajasthan’s four successive defeat after they won eight of their first nine games in the tournament.

Punjab Kings’ captain Sam Curran plays a shot during an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match against Rajasthan Royals at the ACA Stadium, Barsapara, in Guwahati in the north-eastern Assam state on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)

By: India Weekly

SKIPPER Sam Curran starred with bat and ball as Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals by five wickets for a consolation win in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.

Chasing a tricky 145 on a sluggish pitch, Punjab depended on Curran’s unbeaten 63 to achieve their target with seven balls to spare in Rajasthan’s adopted home ground in Guwahati.

Left-handed Curran put on a key 63-run stand with Jitesh Sharma, who made 22, and despite losing his partner in the 16th over steered the team home to lift them from the bottom of the 10-team table.

Impact substitute Ashutosh Sharma smashed 17 and the winning run to hand Rajasthan their fourth successive defeat in this edition of the T20 tournament.

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“To be very honest, we have to sit back and accept that we are going through some failures,” Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson said.

“You have to find out what’s not working well as a team. When you are getting to the business end, we need someone to raise their finger up and say I am going to win the game for the team. We have the players who can do that.”

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The loss for Rajasthan hurt their chances of a top-two finish in the league stage a day after they confirmed their play-off spot.

Rajasthan, who stay in second place with one game in hand, and table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders are the only two teams to have booked their play-off berth.

The top four teams make the play-offs, but the first and second-placed sides have the advantage of two chances to qualify for the final on May 26 in Chennai.

Punjab, who had already bowed out of the play-off race, kept the opposition down to 144-9 despite a 34-ball 48 by Riyan Parag.

Left-arm quick Curran bowled Yashasvi Jaiswal, for four, in the first over and then Samson departed for 18 off Nathan Ellis after a slow start.

Parag found Ravichandran Ashwin, who hit 28 off 19 balls, for company and the two attempted to push the scoring in their partnership of 50.

The rest of the batting faltered against a disciplined attack as Curran, fellow quick Harshal Patel and spinner Rahul Chahal took two wickets each.


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