Our boys went down to Rajasthan Royals (RR) by four wickets in our final league match of TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium, Dharamshala, on Friday, May 19.

We posted 187/5 on the board before RR chased down the target with two balls to spare.

Coin Favours Visitors:

RR captain Sanju Samson won the toss and put us into bat. We made just one change as Prabhsimran Singh replaced Nathan Ellis in our starting XI.

Dhawan-Taide’s Early Blitzkrieg:

We lost Prabhsimran early, but our skipper Shikhar Dhawan got us off to a quick-fire start. The swashbuckling southpaw smashed Sandeep Sharma for a boundary and followed it with a maximum in the second over.

On the other end, young Atharva Taide flicked Trent Boult for a six. He continued his form as he slammed Navdeep Saini for back-to-back boundaries.

On the other end, young Atharva Taide flicked Trent Boult for a six. He continued his form as he slammed Navdeep Saini for back-to-back boundaries.

Setback After A Good Start:

After his spectacular cameo, Taide fell to Saini in the same over.

We soon succumbed to another blow as Adam Zampa dismissed Dhawan.

Our batters brought up the team's fifty in 6.1 overs before Liam Livingstone departed for 9.

Jitesh-Curran Steady The Ship

Batting at number six, Jitesh Sharma completed 500 runs in the TATA IPL. 

In the 10th over, our dynamic wicketkeeper-batter clobbered Sandeep for two huge sixes.

Sam Curran smashed Yuzvendra Chahal for a boundary to keep the scoreboard moving.

Jitesh and Curran stitched a crucial 64-run stand to resurrect our innings. Unfortunately, Jitesh was dismissed by Saini after his impressive 28-ball 44.

SRK-Curran Show In Death Overs:

Shahrukh Khan pulled Chahal for a boundary and smacked the leg-spinner for an 87-metre six.

Curran also smashed Chahal for two sixes and a four to accumulate 28 runs off the penultimate over.

In the final over, Shahrukh clobbered Boult for 18 runs to help us post 187/5 in our 20 overs.

Curran and Shahrukh forged an unbeaten 73-run stand which is, the highest sixth-wicket partnership for us in TATA IPL history.

KG Provides Early Breakthrough:

Defending 187, our bowlers got off to a good start as Kagiso Rabada trapped Jos Buttler in front of the stumps.

Jaiswal-Padikkal Fightback:

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal forged a 73-run partnership for the second wicket to bring RR back into the game.

Bowlers Strike Back:

Our lead pacer, Arshdeep Singh, provided a much-needed breakthrough as he dismissed Padikkal in the 10th over.

In the following over, Rahul Chahar joined the party as he bagged the massive wicket of Sanju Samson to reduce RR to 90/3.

Last-Over Heartbreak:

Riyan Parag and Hetmyer added 32 runs for the fifth wicket before Rabada removed Parag.

In the 19th over, Curran scalped the dangerous wicket of Hetmyer to bring us back into the clash.

Our star leg-spinner, Chahar, was given the final over to defend nine runs. He bowled brilliantly to concede four runs in the first three balls before Dhruv Jurel’s six helped RR register a four-wicket win.

We are proud of our Shers for taking this game down the wire. But with another heartbreaking defeat, our TATA IPL 2023 campaign ends in disappointment. Our boys finished the season with six memorable wins.

Until next time, Sher Squad!

Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 187/5 in 20 overs (Sam Curran 49*, Jitesh Sharma 44; Navdeep Saini 3/40) lost to Rajasthan Royals 189/6 in 19.4 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 51, Yashasvi Jaiswal 50; Kagiso Rabada 2/40) by four wickets.

Player of the Match: Devdutt Padikkal.