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IPL 2023, PBKS vs RR: Paddikal, Hetmyer keep Rajasthan's hope alive for the playoffs

IPL 2023, Punjab Kings (PBKS) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR), Top Performances: Shahrukh Khan-Sam Curran 37 ball 73-run stand, Devdutt Padikkal’s 51 and Shimron Hetmyer’s 46 are the top performances. Rajasthan Royals beat PBKS and move to 5th spot in points table.

IPL 2023, PBKS vs RR, Top Performances: Devdutt Padikkal's 51 off 30 helps RR beat PBKS _ Walking wicket (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Padikkal gets POTM for his 51 off 30 against Punjab (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Brief Scores PBKS 187/5 (Curran 49*, Jitesh 44, Saini 3/40) lost to RR 189/6 (Padikkal 51, Jaiswal 50, Rabada 2/40) by 4 wickets.

Player Of The Match: Devdutt Padikkal (51 off 30)

Hosts Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals, 2 teams that are to stay relevant in the tournament and give themselves an outside chance in reaching the playoffs that is if other results go in their favour took on each other at Dharamsala. Royals win this hard-fought contest by 4 wickets and move to the 5th spot. They have an outside chance of reaching the top-4 and need some results to go their way in the coming 4 games.

Rajasthan's Strategic Play Outsmarts Punjab's To Keep Their Hope For Playoffs

In a strategic move, Royals skipper Sanju Samson elected to field first, introducing Navdeep Saini for his first appearance this season, while Adam Zampa made a comeback. However, Ashwin was absent from the lineup, and PBKS remained unchanged. PBKS stumbled in the powerplay, losing Prabhsimran Singh to Trent Boult's remarkable return catch. Saini, on his return, dismissed Taide, and Zampa claimed Dhawan's wicket, leaving PBKS struggling at 48/3 in the first 6 overs. Despite these setbacks, a brilliant 44 from 28 balls by the in-form Jitesh, along with a solid 64-run partnership with Sam Curran, revived PBKS. Shahrukh Khan's unbeaten 41 off 23 and Curran's 49 not out off 31 propelled PBKS to a competitive total of 187.

In pursuit of the daunting target, Jaiswal started with three consecutive boundaries, but Buttler fell for a quick duck to Rabada. Jaiswal and Padikkal formed a formidable partnership, accumulating 57 runs in the powerplay. However, Padikkal's half-century was short-lived as he was caught off Arshdeep, followed by the dismissal of RR skipper Sanju Samson by Rahul Chahar. Hetmyer injected momentum with a flurry of sixes, combining with Jaiswal, who fell after a commendable 51. Hetmyer continued to dominate, and a cameo from Riyan Parag ensured a comfortable victory for RR by four wickets. Despite the win, their playoff spot remains uncertain.

Talking Points: The Royals Last-Minute Changes Took To The Large-Scale Impact

The major surprise factor was the inclusion of tearaway pacer Navdeep Saini in place of Ashwin and it proved to be a great move as the former took 3 crucial wickets for the Royals.

Another talking point has to be the performance of the youngsters and the next-gen of the Royals. While the Jaiswal and Padikkal chipped in with half-centuries, Parag played a useful cameo of 20 runs and a calm Jurel hit a six to finish the game in the last over.

Let us scan the key performances of the PBKS vs RR game of IPL 2023

IPL 2023, PBKS vs RR, Top Performances_ Sam Curran-Shahrukh Khan put on a 73-run stand off 37 balls against RR; RR beat PBKS  _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Curran-Shahrukh put on a 73-run stand off 37 balls against RR (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Shahrukh Khan – Sam Curran propel PBKS to a competitive score

The Punjab Kings looked like scoring a below-par total on a Dharamsala track that was aiding stroke play. They were at one stage 114/5 in 14 overs when the duo of Shahrukh Khan and Sam Curran joined hands for the 6th wicket.

While Sam Curran was playing himself to launch big at the end, Shahrukh took time to get into his groove. The next 4 overs went quiet as only 26 runs were scored, and it looked like PBKS will fall short of their desired target.

But in the final 2 overs, these batters collectively smashed 46 runs and included 4 sixes & as many boundaries taking the final total to 187/6.

Devdutt Padikkal comes good at no.3

Despite having great talent, Devdutt Padikkal has not fulfilled the same into the IPL for a couple of seasons running and even in this IPL, the left-hander has scored just a solitary half-century. But here in this must-win clash, Padikkal came all guns blazing even though the Royals had just lost Buttler for a duck.

He along with fellow left-hander Jaiswal played some extraordinary strokes en route to their 73-run stand. Padikkal made his 2nd half-century of the season off just 29 balls, and his knock put the Royals in a strong position.

IPL 2023, PBKS vs RR, Top Performances_ Shimron Hetmyer's 46 off 28 helps Rajasthan Royals beat PBKS_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Hetmyer's 46 off 28 helps Rajasthan Royals beat PBKS (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Shimron Hetmyer’s blitz keeps the Royals alive in the tournament

RR had just lost 2 wickets as Devdutt Padikkal & Sanju Samson in quick succession and Yashasvi Jaiswal was not at his free-flowing best despite getting a start. This is when Shimron Hetmyer arrived and took the game completely away from the PBKS as he smashed 3 maximums within the first 10 balls of his innings and the equation became that much narrow.

Unfortunately, he fell 4 short of what could have been a fine half-century but his 28-ball enterprising knock took RR past the finish line.

What’s Next And Points Table

This loss means the PBKS campaign is over for the season and this is the 10th season running that they have not qualified for the last 4.

RR though they have won their final league would want both RCB and MI to lose their respective last league game to reach the playoffs.

IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table

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