Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is the appropriate
cliché that can be used to describe the Punjab Kings’ performance against the
Rajasthan Royals as KL Rahul’s side were unable to score the four runs needed
in the final over to register their fourth victory of the season. Following
Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul’s 5th IPL century stand, Punjab were cruising on
their way to victory in Dubai, but despite needing only 10 runs off the final
15 balls and four runs off the final over, the Kings ended up losing the game
by two runs.
Rajasthan were down and out for the majority of that run
chase, but an excellent final over from Kartik Tyagi, who nailed his yorkers’
to concede only one run and pick up two wickets as Punjab continued their habit
of letting victories slip through their grasp.
Rajasthan started the game brightly with their new opener
Evin Lewis (36 off 21) blazing 54 runs in the powerplay along with Yashasvi
Jaiswal to give Rajasthan the perfect start against Punjab’s new-ball attack.
The spinners also got a similar treatment from the RR top
order as Yashasvi Jaiswal went after the 4th ranked T20I bowler Adil Rashid
before eventually falling one run short of his half-century. Liam Livingstone
also scored a brisk 25 off 17, but it was Mahipal Lomror who added the extra
firepower as he hit consecutive sixes off Adil Rashid before smashing 24 runs
off Deepak Hooda.
At 164/4 in 16 overs, RR were on course for a substantial
first-innings total, but Punjab clawed things back at the death thanks to
excellent bowling from Arshdeep Singh and Mohammad Shami. The pair conceded
only 21 runs in the final four overs and managed to dismiss RR for 185, with
Arshdeep Singh becoming the second youngest Indian to take a five-wicket haul
in the IPL.
Punjab continued this momentum from the back end of their
bowling innings into the run chase as they scored 49 runs in the powerplay. The
Royals were incredibly sloppy with the ball and in the field for the majority
of the run chase as Rahul was dropped thrice inside the first six overs while
Chris Morris struggled to find the right lines and conceded 25 runs off the
Rahul and Agarwal put on 120 runs in 12 overs before falling
within seven balls of each other, but debutant Aiden Markram and Nicholas
Pooran put on a 50-run partnership between themselves as Punjab were cruising
Markram launched a massive six against fellow countryman
Morris to take the equation to 12 of 17, but Punjab failed to find the boundary
from that point onwards as they stumbled to another soul-crushing defeat.
Mustafizur conceded only four runs from the penultimate over, and the smiles in
the Punjab dugout slowly dissipated as Kartik Tyagi nailed yorker after yorker
and defended four of the last six balls for only the second time in IPL