RR vs PBKS, IPL 2021, UAE: A nail-biting encounter was at hand between the lower-placed teams. Punjab thought they covered everything, but Kartik Tyagi found a series of yorkers to turn the match. The debutant Aiden Markram was left on the nonstriker’s end, with no chance to do anything.
Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul made his intentions clear right at the toss. He wanted to chase, no matter even if the target was a stiff 186 before Kartik Tyagi staged a coup to help Rajasthan Royals steal a win.
Needing 4 off the last over, Tyagi came up with the wickets of a well-set Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram to turn the tide in Rajasthan Royals’ favour by 2 runs in a last over nail-bitter.
Aided by three reprieves early on, Rahul (49) and his trusted lieutenant Mayank Agarwal (67) almost ensured that the Mohali-based franchise resumed their IPL campaign with a victory before Tyagi’s three deliveries changed the course of the match.
Earlier, Rajasthan made a mess of their fielding, with Evin Lewis, Riyan Parag, and Chetan Sakaria dropping the Punjab captain on three different occasions. While Lewis dropped Rahul on 2 with a fairly easy chance for a fielder as he is, Parag missed another after the batsman got to a brisk 29 running backward had it in his grasp but at the last moment it sniffles out, and after adding a couple of runs, Rahul got a third life from Sakaria at short fine-leg, should have been a sitter.
Sakaria managed to make up for the dropped chances with the wicket of KL, one shy of a half-century at the third man region, but the damage had been done as Rahul and his Karnataka partner had already forged together a 120-run opening stand to set the tone for the chase. However, an over later, Agarwal followed his opening partner, creating a chance for Rajasthan’s comeback.
With Punjab needing 60 off 48 balls, debutant Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran brought up a 50-run stand in mere 28 balls. Pooran, who had a torrid outing in the first leg, with four ducks, came up with a 22-ball 32 (4×1, 6×2), while Markram remained unbeaten on 26.
Earlier, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh’s career-best figures of 5/32 dragged Punjab back into the game as they managed to contain Rajasthan to 185, despite the heroics of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mahipal Lomror, who was just hammering sixes like it’s a child play.
Opening the Rajasthan innings, Jaiswal came up with a career-best 49 off 36 balls, powered by six glorious boundaries and a couple of monster sixes that actually spoke a lot of the impact batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar had on the youngster. Ahead of the Mumbai team’s tour of Oman last month, the Mumbai team underwent a session with Tendulkar, and Jaiswal had claimed to be picking the brains of the little master. During the tour, the 19-year-old amassed close to 300 runs in the one-day and T20 series combined, including best scores of 90, 82, and 75.
However, his efforts were slightly overshadowed by Lomror’s six-studded 17-ball 43. Evin Lewis gave glimpses of his brute force with a 21-ball 36, studded with seven boundaries and a six, to provide Rajasthan a 54-run opening stand in the company of Jaiswal. Brought in as a replacement for the talismanic Jos Buttler, Rajasthan will be satisfied with their new import’s approach in his very first innings.
Skipper Sanju Samson (4) perished cheaply to a magnificent catch from his counterpart KL Rahul off debutant Ishan Porel. Rajasthan’s second debutant, Liam Livingstone also departed after a brisk 17-ball 25, showing glimpses of his potential.