DHARAMSHALA: Following the four-wicket win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Rajasthan Royals (RR) batter Shimron Hetmyer said that he was trying to finish the game in 18 overs.
Dhruv Jurel’s final over six clinched the victory for Rajasthan Royals and ended Punjab Kings’ hopes of sealing their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 playoffs at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.
“I was trying to see how fast we can get the game finished. I was actually trying to get the game finished in 18 overs, but I guess I did not get enough of the strike to do that. I had a little dip in the middle, but that is how cricket goes sometimes. (On the duel with Sam Curran) It is always good to have someone say something to me, it does not really happen much. I really enjoyed it today, giving me a little bit more confidence and a little bit more energy to execute and do what I need to do. (What was said by Curran?) Not anything I can disclose here to be honest),” said Hetmyer in a post-match presentation.
In 14 matches, Hetmyer has scored 299 runs at an average of 37.37 and a strike rate of 151.77. He has scored one half-century in the tournament, with a best score of 56*.
After being put to bat first by RR, PBKS scored 187/5 in their 20 overs. They struggled against RR bowlers initially, losing their four wickets for just 50 runs in 6.3 overs. Then Jitesh Sharma (44 in 28 balls, with three fours and three sixes) and Sam Curran stitched a 64-run stand for the fifth wicket to bring PBKS back into the game. Then in death overs, Curran (49* in 31 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes) and Shahrukh Khan (41* in 23 balls, four boundaries and two sixes) joined forces to up the run rate, taking PBKS to a competitive total. They scored 46 runs in the final two overs.
Navdeep Saini (3/40) was the pick of the bowlers for RR. Trent Boult and Adam Zampa took a wicket each.
In the chase of 188, RR lost Jos Buttler early for a duck, his fifth this season. Then Yashasvi Jaiswal (50 in 36 balls, with eight fours) and Devdutt Padikkal (51 in 30 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes) stitched a 73-run stand for the second wicket, helping RR fight back. Later on, cameos from Shimron Hetmyer (46 in 28 balls, four boundaries and three sixes), Riyan Parag (20 in 12 balls, with one four and two sixes) and Dhruv Jurel (10* in four balls) helped RR clinch a last-over thriller win by four wickets.
Kagiso Rabada (2/40) was the pick of the bowlers for PBKS. Sam Curran, Nathan Ellis, Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh took a wicket each.
Padikkal got the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his fifty.
With this, RR is in the fifth spot in the points table with seven wins and seven losses. They have a total of 14 points. They can still climb up to the top four spots if Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) lose their last match against Gujarat Titans by a huge margin and Mumbai Indians lose their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad too.
PBKS’s IPL 2023 campaign is over. They end in the eighth position with six wins and eight losses. They have a total of 12 points. (ANI)