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IPL 2022: Jaiswal, Hetmyer Star as Rajasthan Royals Beat Punjab Kings to Stay in Top-three

By: Cricketnext Staff

Last Updated: May 07, 2022, 19:53 IST

Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scored for Rajasthan Royals. (BCCI Photo)

Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scored for Rajasthan Royals. (BCCI Photo)

The defeat despite putting up a challenging total has dented Punjab Kings hopes of making it to the playoffs

Rajasthan Royals took another step towards sealing a playoffs spot as they defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium. Powered by a sublime half-century from the returning Yashasvi Jaiswal, RR chased down the target of 190 in 19.4 overs to also recover from the jolt they received thanks to two defeats in a row.

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Jos Buttler led a bright start but played one shot too many against Kagiso Rabada to be out for a 16-ball 30 as alongside Jaiswal. RR captain Sanju Samson also got the start but like previous occasions ended up throwing it away on 23.

Jaiswal though was in fine touch as he clattered nine fours and smoked two sixes in his 41-ball 68. Devdutt Padikkal struggled in his 32-ball 31 but Shimron Hetmyer ensured no late twist as he struck three fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 31 off 16 to seal the game in his team’s favour.

Also Read: PBKS vs RR Match Highlights

Earlier, Jonny Bairstow signalled his return to form with a fine half-century before Jitesh Sharma’s cameo propelled Punjab Kings to a sizeable 189 for 5.

On a day, when their leading run-getter Shikhar Dhawan (12 from 16b) struggled to get going, Bairstow (56 off 40 balls) looked effortless once he had settled down and reached his first IPL fifty this season, eighth overall, in 34 balls.

Bairstow however failed to convert it into a big one as Punjab lost three wickets for 30 runs in the middle overs with current ‘Purple Cap’ holder Yuzvendra Chahal denting their progress with his triple-strike (3/28).

Chahal, who had just two wickets from the last four matches, started to look threatening again, stalling their progress in the middle overs.

The leg-spinner had skipper Mayank Agarwal for the sixth time in 10 innings and went on to dismiss Punjab top-scorer Bairstow in the space of three deliveries.

But it was little known Jitesh who came up with his career-best IPL score and lit the stage on fire with his clean-hitting skills as Punjab scored 67 runs in the last five overs to prop up their total.

Promoted at No. 5 ahead of Liam Livingstone (22 off 14 balls), Jitesh clobbered four boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten 38 from 18 balls.

Electing to bat, it was all about Bairstow early on. The English swashbuckler had managed just 80 runs from seven appearances this season, at a lacklustre strike rate of 105.26, which did raise questions avout his place in the playing eleven.

The Agarwal-led side kept their faith in Bairstow and the skipper even sacrificed his opening slot in their last match (vs Gujarat Titans).

It was a move that finally paid off against the Royals as he overcame an anxious start and took the Royal attack to the cleaners, smashing eight fours and one six in his 40-ball knock.

Dhawan looked impatient and conceded a maiden against Trent Boult early on and finally departed off a superb one-handed catch running backwards by Jos Buttler.

The defeat has further narrowed the road for PBKS to make it to the playoffs and they may have to win all their remaining matches to stay within a chance now.

With PTI Inputs

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first published:May 07, 2022, 19:53 IST
last updated:May 07, 2022, 19:53 IST