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‘Ye hai shandaar Saturday’ – Rajasthan inch closer to playoffs, Punjab sink further after crushing loss

Rajasthan now have their one foot in the playoffs

Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings
Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings (Image Credit : BCCI/IPL)

Punjab and Rajasthan locked horns in the 52nd match of the Indian T20 League 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The Men In Red and Gold won the toss and chose to bat first. The decision proved right as openers, Jonny Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan stitched a partnership of 47 runs.

On the first ball of the sixth over, Dhawan (12) was brilliantly caught by Jos Buttler, who took a one-handed catch at mid-on. In came Bhanuka Rajapaksa (27) who kept the tempo going before he was clean bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, trying to hit a six. Rajapaksa and Bairstow added 42 runs for the second wicket. Four overs later, skipper Mayank Agarwal (15) was caught at long-on by Buttler off Chahal.

In the same over, Bairstow (56) was trapped lbw and it looked like the team would be restricted to a low score with two new batters at the crease. However, the likes of Jitesh Sharma (38*) and Liam Livingstone (22) took the team to a competitive 189/5. For the 2008 winners, Chahal took three wickets while Prasidh Krishna and Ravichandran Ashwin took one each.

In reply, the Men In Pink and Blue started strongly. Buttler (30) and Yashasvi Jaiswal stitched a partnership of 46 runs in just four overs before the former got out in an unfortunate manner. The right-hander was trying to play a scoop shot on a yorker against Kagiso Rabada but was caught at short third man by Rajapaksa. Skipper Sanju Samson came in and added another 39 runs for the team in the next four overs.

Samson (23) was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off Rishi Dhawan. At 85/2, Jaiswal (68) and Devdutt Padikkal stitched a partnership of 56 runs before the former was caught at long-off by Livingstone off Arshdeep Singh. The likes of Padikkal (31) and Shimron Hetmyer (31*) took the team close before Padikkal was caught by Mayank Agarwal off Singh when the team needed eight runs. Hetmyer hit the required  runs with two balls left in the game as Rajasthan won the game by six wickets.

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