The Punjab Kings inched to a four-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals in a thrilling IPL match on Monday.
After being sent in to bat, the Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) destructive batting unit raced to 221-6 in their allotted overs, well above the average first- innings total of 170. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle’s 67-run partnership stabilised the innings after an early wicket loss.
However, it was the 105-run partnership between Rahul and Deepak Hooda that made sure Punjab Kings were left happy at the break. Hooda (64) played an electric innings, scoring at a strike rate of over 200. Skipper Rahul (91) was the anchor throughout before being dismissed in the final over.
South African ‘two-million dollar man’ Chris Morris ended with figures of 1-41 in his first outing for RR while Chetan Sakariya was the pick of the RR bowlers picking up two scalps.
The chase from RR started disastrously losing two early wickets including Ben Stokes’ (0). Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler injected some much-needed impetus by scoring at over 10 an over. That was short -lived as Buttler (25) was dismissed to take the sting out of the innings with the score on 70-3.
However, Samson played one of the best IPL innings in recent years scoring a century at a strike rate of 200. However, his outstanding 119 was not enough as RR fell four runs short after 20 overs. Morris was there in the end on two not out, failing to make an impact in the chase.
Looking ahead, Punjab Kings face the Chennai Super Kings on Friday while the Rajasthan Royals take on the Delhi Capitals on Thursday.