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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.

Read More: IPL 2023, PBKS vs DC: Shaw, Warner, Rossouw power Delhi over Punjab; Punjab on verge of elimination

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)