Brief Scores from RR vs PBKS: Punjab Kings 221/6 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64; Chetan Sakariya 3/31, Chris Morris 2/41)
Rajasthan Royals 217/7 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 119, Riyan Parag 25; Arshdeep Singh 3/35, Mohammed Shami 2/33)
Punjab Kings seal their first win of the season as they beat Rajasthan Royals by 4 runs in an outing that witnessed close to 440 runs being aggregated in a span of 40 overs.
Being put to bat first, Punjab Kings suffered a minor blow to their innings as they lost Mayank Agarwal (14) in the 3rd over, then a dangerous-looking Chris Gayle (40) before he could go bonkers across the stadium. Cometh Deepak Hooda, who then added 105 runs off 47 deliveries alongside KL Rahul to propel Punjab to 221 runs in 20 overs in their opening bout of the season.
For Rajasthan Royals, chasing 222 looked out of limits to post the openers dismissals in the first four overs. While a determined Sanju Samson made the rivals toil hard for his wicket, and went on to notch his 3rd ton in the star-studded tournament, it just wasn’t enough to ensure them a triumph.
Here are the talking points from the concluded RR vs PBKS match at Wankhede –
KL Rahul racks up a blistering 91
Another day, another fifty for the Karnataka-born in the shortest format. As was anticipated prior to the contest, Rahul rendered a majestic show that put Punjab in a dominating position in the first innings. The skipper, post Mayank Agarwal’s dismissal, went ballistic onto the Royals’ bowlers to the extent of smashing a 50-ball 91 with 7 fours and 5 sixes and a juicy strike rate of over 180.
Rahul whacked a six on an overpitched delivery of Shivam Dube to record a 30-ball half-century.
The knock marked Rahul’s 22nd half-century in IPL, which happens to be his 20th fifty-plus total since 2018, placing him in a league of his own.
Rahul’s carnage eventually to an end in the final over, when he tried to slot a full-length delivery of Chetan Sakariya over mid-wicket only to be caught by Rahul Tewatia in the deep.
Deepak Hooda’s sublime 64 carries Punjab to 221
Both fans and the players would have anticipated Pooran to do the damage over Royals and would have prepared for the same, but it was Hooda who came out of the syllabus to uplift Punjab to a competitive position.
Batting at a jaw-dropping strike rate of around 230, Hooda muscled his way to a 28-ball 64 studded with 4 fours and 6 sixes.
Coming in at 4 in the 10th over, Hood struck his first boundary of Shreyas Gopal in the 12th over. He then followed with two majestic sixes of Shivam Dube in the 13th over, and then 3 sixes off Gopal in the 14th over to inch himself to 39 runs in a span of 15 deliveries.
His onslaught came to an end post the strategic timeout in the 18th over, when a shortish delivery from Chris Morris forced him out to Riyan Parag at long-on.
Hooda, who has been a part of 69 matches in IPL and bought by Punjab Kings in the 2021 auction at INR 50 Lakh, recorded his 3rd fifty in the tournament.
Sanju Samson lights up Wankhede with a ton
It was a well-fought knock from Samson who was playing his maiden match as the skipper in IPL. With openers being dismissed early on in the contest, Royals needed a sublime show from the middle-order, and the onus of ensuring the same fell on Samson and Buttler’s shoulders at first.
The duo looked in fine touch as they added 45 runs to the third wicket but the chains were pulled right after Buttler’s dismissal on 25 in the 8th over.
Both Shivam Dube and Riyan Parag then amassed 50-run partnerships each alongside Samson, to bring the equation down to 48 runs from the last four overs.
Samson then rammed 4,6,4 off Jhye Richardson’s first three deliveries of the 18th over to notch his 3rd IPL ton, then another six in the over that followed to bring the chase to 13 runs from the final over.
Samson still had enough power down his muscles as he cracked another six off the fourth delivery. With 5 runs needed off the last two balls, Samson denied a single to Chris Morris, and hoping to wrap up the majestic chase in style, lofted the final delivery to deep cover only to be caught by Deepak Hooda, thus putting an end to his knock of 119 runs.
Sanju was eventually crowned as the ‘Player of the Match’ for his knock that was studded with 12 fours and 7 sixes.
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