Punjab Kings batters Shahrukh Khan and Sam Curran during the IPL 2023 cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings | Photo: PTI
Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh): Sam Curran and Shahrukh Khan's last two-over heroics powers Punjab Kings score to 187/5 in 20 overs against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League match at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala on Friday.
PBKS had the worst possible start in their do-or-die clash as Prabhsimran Singh lost his wicket in the first over. Trent Bould made a mark on his return in an instant. He took a diving catch to dismiss Prabhsimran for a score of 2(2).
The hosts tried to rally up as PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Atharva Taide tried to launch a counter-attack in the second over of the match. Sandeep Sharma became their target as he ended up conceding 16 runs.
In the third over they continued their dominance as Boult conceded 12 runs in his second over. PBKS had found their feet but Navdeep Saini came into the attack to disrupt their momentum. He picked up his first wicket of the IPL by dismissing Taide for a score of 19(12).
Boult followed up with a strong over as he gave away three runs. Samson stirred things up by handing the ball to Adam Zampa. The Australian delivered on the faith that was invested in him by picking up the wicket of Dhawa for a score of 17(12). Dhawan was down on his knee trying to play a sweep shot. He got beaten as the ball skidded along the surface and went on to hit on his pads.
At the end of the powerplay, PBKS were 48-3.
PBKS suffered another loss as Saini claimed his second wicket of the match by sending the bails in the air of the in-form batter Liam Livingstone for a score of 9(13).
From that point, Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran brought much-needed stability to the disintegrating innings of the home team.
The pair survived till the 14th over before Saini ended their game-changing partnership. Jitesh couldn't keep up with the intensity of Saini. He lost his wicket for a score of 44(28).
Shahrukh Khan came in to finish the game with Sam Curran playing the anchor role. A feeling of de ja vu started to creep around the entire stadium as Chahal was asked to bowl the 19th over.
Shahrukh welcomed Chahal by striking two consecutive sixes. He rotated the strike on the third ball and then Curran started to show off his true colours bu hitting two successive sixes and a four on the final ball to claim 28 runs in a crucial over.
The final over ended on a similar note as Boult conceded 18 runs to end the PBKS innings on a high note.
PBKS ended the first innings with a score of 187/5 in 20 overs.
Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 187/5 (Sam Curran 49(31)*, Jitesh Sharma 44(28), Shahrukh Khan 41(23)* and Navdeep Saini 3/40) vs Rajasthan Royals.