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IPL 2024: Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, 27th Match – Who Said What?

Hetmyer and Powell. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

It’s slowly becoming a tradition in the Indian Premier League. One can’t keep their eyes off or declare a clear winner whenever Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals face each other. The match on April 13 at Mullanpur was no different either. For the majority of the match, Rajasthan had the upper hand but their heartbeat definitely increased with each ball passing in the second innings. They were uncomfortable with the bat at one point as PBKS were putting immense pressure on them but Shimron Hetmyer towards the fag end played some brilliant cricket to help the inaugural champions win the match by three wickets.

Batting first, PBKS struggled as Jonny Bairstow and Atharva Taide couldn’t give the team a good start. The likes of Prabhsimran Singh, Sam Curran, and Shashank Singh struggled as well but Jitesh Sharma and impact player Ashutosh Sharma played to their merit and helped the team post a respectable total on the board. Keshav Maharaj, Yuzvendra Chahal and Avesh Khan bowled well in the first innings as PBKS posted 147 runs on the board.

Also Read – Sanju Samson forgets Tanush Kotian’s name at toss during PBKS vs RR clash

When it came to the chase, Rajasthan missed the services of Jos Buttler as youngster Tanush Kotian made 24 runs off 31 deliveries. That is something one can’t expect from an opener, which also put pressure on other players. Yashasvi Jaiswal on the other hand, made 39 runs off 28 deliveries while the middle order couldn’t impress. The responsibility in the end fell on Hetmyer’s shoulder, who smashed an unbeaten 27 runs off 10 deliveries to win the match for RR.

Talking Points

1. Ashutosh Sharma continues to impress

For the majority period of the time, it was believed that Ashutosh Sharma wasn’t part of PBKS’ plans. However, with wickets falling like a house of cards, the team management brought him late and he made 31 runs off 16 deliveries, which helped the team post 147 runs on board, which seemed impossible at one stage. He continued to impress with the bat and given his form, PBKS should trust him more with the bat. 

2. Avesh Khan’s form ahead of the T20 WC

Avesh Khan has been impressive so far in IPL 2024. Against PBKS, he bowled three brilliant overs but leaked a few runs in the final one but overall, he looked sharp and confident. With Mohammed Shami ruled out of the T20 World Cup, India desperately need a pacer and Avesh is definitely putting his name up there.

3. Hetmyer the finisher

Whenever Rajasthan needed a finisher this season, Hetmyer raised his hands and got the job done. He is in incredible form at the moment and played a vital role in helping RR win their fifth match of IPL 2024 and with that, they strengthened their place at the top of the table. 

Who Said What?

Losing skipper Sam Curran said:

The wicket was slightly slow, but we didn’t start well with the bat and didn’t finish well in the end. It was a good effort from the lower order, getting (close) to 150 was excellent, the bowling was good, we kept them down, unfortunately another close loss. We stuck to our plans, bowled and fielded well, but I’m confident we’ll bounce back in the next game. Three games is a hard way to fully work out the conditions (at the new venue), but we’ve adapted well, we won the first match and lost two matches by close margins (by 2 runs and 3 wickets), hard to take, but the boys will be lifted by how well we’ve played in the last couple of games.

Winning skipper Sanju Samson said:

(High-catches) We had fee funny instances from last year and this year. But I am really happy that everyone is eager to go and catch it. The stadium is full of noise and we can’t look who is coming. I need to tell my fast bowlers that it’s easier to catch with the gloves. We all were (tensed during the run-chase). Against Punjab in the last 3-4 years, each and every game is very close. They bowled really well, it was a funny game. (On Hetmyer) He has been doing ti for years and years, experience and composure. Rovamn and Hetty – having them was good. Tanush had a fabulous Ranji Trophy. He’s been impressing everyone. We didn’t want to unsettle the batting order. Very happy to see him (Jaiswal) get those 30s and 40s.

POTM Shimron Hetmyer said:

It’s just practice, I try as much as possible in the nets. I try my best to hit sixes. I am happy that I helped my team today. They (pressure) creep in the first couple of balls, afterwards I try to keep it as clear as possible. I spoke to Boulty and he said, “I got it.” I said I’ll try my best to get a single (off the penultimate ball), even if we don;t win it, at least tie it. Being away from family, the only you could keep yourself up is by just enjoying every moment.

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