After 14 league matches in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, we saw several of our, Punjab Kings (PBKS), players reach note-worthy milestones. Some of them played their best innings and smashed their highest scores as well.
One such innings that not only stands out but will remain etched in our minds for a long time is Liam Livingstone’s swashbuckling knock of 94 against Delhi Capitals (DC).
Liam’s knock is the third-highest score by a PBKS batter this season. What gives Liam’s knock its utmost importance is the situation in which our English hard-hitter performed.
Our home fixture against David Warner-led side was played at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium, Dharamshala. It was our penultimate match, and a win in that game meant we would have inched closer to a spot in the playoffs. On the other hand, DC was out of the playoffs race before the commencement of the match.
In the must-win encounter, DC gave us a target of 214. We lost our first wicket of captain Shikhar Dhawan on the seventh ball of our innings. Prabhsimran Singh and Atharva Taide built on a partnership but the former got out in the seventh over. Liam Livingstone walked in at no. 4.
Atharva and Liam continued to steady the ship. Atharva reached his score of 50 but he retired himself out so that the next batter could get a chance to accelerate the scoreboard.
However, things did not go in our favour as Jitesh Sharma lost his wicket without scoring any runs.
Having whipped three fours and sixes apiece, it was time for Liam to back the base he build.
86 needed off 🖐 overs!— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) May 17, 2023
Everything's possible with Liam on the crease! #PBKSvDC
Liam reached his half-century with a boundary and clobbered DC’s Khaleel Ahmed for a six. He ended that over with another monstrous six over long-on.
Next up, Liam punished Mukesh Sharma too. Our English star started the 18th over with a six. He hit another maximum on the 5th ball to generate 21 runs off the over. Liam brought us back in the chase. He kept our hopes alive for the race to playoffs and in search of our elusive trophy.
But, the next ball, Mukesh tidied his over. A dot ball at that stage was like golden dust. Our winning equation was 38 runs off 12 balls. With bated breath and Liam on the crease, we did not give up.
Anrich Nortje bowled the 19th over and most importantly, kept Liam away from strike for the first three deliveries. In the next three deliveries, Liam could score only a single to keep himself at the strike for the last over.
The last over was onto DC’s spearhead, Ishant Sharma. Starting with a dot ball meant our hopes were shattered. Our shoulders dropped. But a six on the next ball had us praying for leaking extras or even the chest-wrenching super over. To our delight, the next ball also crossed the ropes. The next ball not only went for a maximum but was also declared as a waist-height no-ball.
Kudos to Ishant for he controlled the next ball. With another dot, the equation was 16 needed off two balls while Liam was on 94. We prayed for another miracle but another dot ball burst our dream bubble. If not for our win, we wanted Liam to finish off with a six to get to his maiden TATA IPL century. But the odds were not in our favour as Liam was caught at long-off.
Both the results were heartbreaking for the men in red and our dearest fans. But we couldn’t be more grateful to Liam Livingstone for not giving up. He gave us a taste of reaching 16 points.
While we couldn’t get our hands on either the playoffs or a win in our penultimate league fixture, Liam Livingstone, even momentarily, made it look so easy. We wish our star performer all the gratitude in the world for bringing us to the edge of our seats.
Thank you, Livi! You made us all proud by displaying our Jazba to never give up no matter what.