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Three Lefties Win The Game For Royals

May 20, 2023 12:26 IST
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Yashasvi Jaiswal

IMAGE: Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his half-century in just 35 balls. Photographs: BCCI

In a must-win encounter to keep their slim hopes of reaching the IPL Play-Offs alive, the Rajasthan Royals displayed their batting prowess in remarkable fashion.

Devdutt Padikkal and Yashasvi Jaiswal stole the show with sublime fifties, guiding the Royals to a thrilling four wicket victory over the Punjab Kings in their final IPL 2023 league match.

Chasing 188, Jaiswal made an explosive start, utilising the pitch's bounce to hit three consecutive boundaries off Sam Curran in the opening over. However, the Royals encountered an early setback as Kagiso Rabada dismissed Jos Buttler for a duck.

Devdutt Padikkal

IMAGE: Devdutt Padikkal scored his half-century off just 29 deliveries.

Undeterred, Devdutt Padikkal and Jaiswal batted with determination, steering the Royals to a promising position at 85 for 1 in just 9.4 overs.

Padikkal, who was promoted up the order, took charge and unleashed a barrage of powerful strokes, putting the bowlers on the backfoot. He was the more aggressive partner in the left-handed duo, reaching his half-century off just 29 deliveries.

The platform was laid by Jaiswal and Padikkal's 73-run stand. The Royals suffered a setback when Padikkal and Captain Sanju Samson fell in quick succession, leaving the team at 90 for 3 in the 11th over.

Shimron Hetmyer

IMAGE: Shimron Hetmyer put the Punjab Kings bowlers under immense pressure.

Jaiswal found an ideal partner in another left-hander, Shimron Hetmyer, who assumed the role of aggressor, launching three sixes in quick succession. Jaiswal reached his well-deserved half-century in just 35 balls, but was dismissed attempting a reverse hit off Nathan Ellis.

When Jaiswal left, the Royals still required 51 runs from 33 balls. Sensing the urgency, Hetmyer injected momentum into the innings.

He unleashed a flurry of boundaries, including three sixes in quick succession, which shifted the momentum firmly in favour of the Royals.

Although Hetmyer was dismissed, his 46 runs off just 28 balls had a significant impact on the chase.

The Royals later brought in Dhruv Jurel as an impact substitute; he demonstrated nerves of steel by smashing a six on the fourth ball of the final over to secure victory.

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