RR’s Woes Deepen

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RR have lost their fourth match in a row and are second with eight wins and five losses, giving them 16 points. PBKS is in ninth spot with five wins, eight losses and 10 points…reports Asian Lite News

Despite qualifying for playoffs, Rajasthan Royals (RR) continued a downward spiral in momentum as a fine bowling performance by Punjab Kings (PBKS) and a fighting half-century by skipper Sam Curran handed them a five-wicket loss at Guwahati on Wednesday in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match.

RR have lost their fourth match in a row and are second with eight wins and five losses, giving them 16 points. PBKS is in ninth spot with five wins, eight losses and 10 points.

In the run-chase of 145 runs, Punjab Kings had a poor start as they lost Prabhsimran Singh for just six runs in four balls, with a top edge of his bat landing into the hands of Yuzvendra Chahal at short third man. Trent Boult got his first wicket. PBKS was 6/1 in 0.4 overs.

Riley Rossouw came to the crease and along with Jonny Bairstow, unleashed a brief attack on pacers. Rossouw smashed Boult for three fours in the third over and in the next over, Sandeep was hit for two boundaries by South Africa.

However, Rossouw sliced a delivery by Avesh Khan straight into the hands of Yashasvi Jaiswal at backward point, dismissed for 22 in 13 balls, with five fours. PBKS was 36/2 in 4.3 overs.

Two balls later, Avesh Khan trapped Shashank Singh’s leg-before-wicket for a duck. PBKS was 36/3 in 4.5 overs.

PBKS had a very disappointing powerplay, ending their six overs at 39/3, with Jonny Bairstow (9*) and Sam Curran (2*) unbeaten.

Chahal got his first wicket, removing a struggling Bairstow for just 14 in 22 balls, consisting of a four. PBKS was 48/4 in eight overs.

Skipper Sam Curran and Jitesh Sharma joined forces and built the innings run-by-run following these early wickets.

Halfway through the innings, PBKS was 63/4, with Jitesh (8*) and Curran (13*) unbeaten.

Punjab reached the 100-run mark in 14.4 overs thanks to a six from Curran.

At the end of 15 overs, PBKS was 103/4, with Jitesh (22*) and Curran (39*) unbeaten.

The 63-run partnership between the duo was over when a lofted shot from Jitesh landed into the hands of Riyan, giving Chahal his second wicket. Jitesh was gone for 22 in 20 balls, with two fours. PBKS was 111/5 in 15.4 overs.

Curran continued his fightback, reaching his second fifty in the tournament in 38 balls, with five fours and a six.

PBKS ended their run chase at 145/5 in 18.5 overs, with Curran (63* in 41 balls, with five fours and three sixes) and Ashutosh Sharma (17* in 11 balls, with a four and six) unbeaten.

Avesh Khan (2/28) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/31) were among the top bowlers for RR.

Earlier, Sam Curran and Rahul Chahar helped Punjab Kings (PBKS) to restrict Rajasthan Royals (RR) at 144/9 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Riyan Parag was the only standout batter for Rajasthan Royals after he scored the highest runs among his teammates in Guwahati.

After winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals decided to bat first in Guwahati, however, they did not get the start they wanted after Punjab Kings bowlers restricted the hosts’ run rate.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (4 runs from 4 balls, 1 four) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (18 runs from 23 balls, 2 fours and 1 six) opened for the Rajasthan-based franchise.

Jaiswal smashed a four after cracking a cover drive against Sam Curran in the first ball of the inning. But the Indian youngster struggled infront of the PBKS skipper as Curran dismissed him in the fourth ball of the first over. Curran gave only nine runs in his first over.

After the first dismissal, Kohler-Cadmore and Sanju Samson (18 runs from 15 balls, 3 fours) tried to build a partnership. But the RR skipper was removed by Nathan Ellis in the 7th over.

After the end of the first powerplay of the match, the Royals scored just 38 runs and lost one wicket. In IPL 2024, RR became the second franchise after Gujarat Titans (GT) to hit the least sixes in powerplay, Samson’s side smashed just 17 overhead boundaries in the ongoing T20 tournament.

Kohler-Cadmore struggled to get going in the game and Rahul Chahar was successful in dismissing him in the 8th over.

RR were at 58/3 after the end of the 10th over. PBKS bowlers kept the rate under control without any problem. The Royals registered the fifth lowest scores at the 10-over mark in the ongoing IPL 2024.

After failing to hit boundaries, Ravichandran Ashwin (28 runs from 19 balls, 3 fours and 1 six) came as a rescue in the 12th over after he slammed 2 fours and 1 six against Chahar. The PBKS bowler gave 17 runs in the 12th over.

In the 13th over, Arshdeep Singh removed Ashwin to get an upper hand on the match. RR failed to maintain momentum in the game, as in the 14th over, Sam Curran removed Dhruv Jurel for a golden duck.

The Rajasthan-based franchise crossed the 100-run mark in the 14th over. Just in the next over, Rovman Powell (4 runs from 5 balls, 1 four) was removed by Chahar in the 15th over.

It was not the beginning the Royals expected as they had a slow start, losing wickets and ending with a mediocre total at the halfway stage after the end of the 16th over when Samson’s side was at 113/6.

Harshal Patel bagged his first wicket of the game after he removed Donovan Ferreira (7 runs from 8 balls) in the 18th over.

In the last over of the first inning, Harshal removed Riyan Parag (48 runs from 34 balls, 6 fours). The Assamese cricketer only dealt with fours and failed to slam a single six against the Punjab bowlers.

In the last ball of the over, Boult tried to take two runs but Shashank Singh and Jonny Bairstow made no mistake in removing him by a run-out. The Royals ended their inning at 144/9.

Rahul Chahar, Sam Curran, and Harshal Patel led the Punjab bowling attack as the two bowlers picked up two wickets in their respective spells.

Brief score: Rajasthan Royals: 144/9 (Riyan Parag 48, Ravichandran Ashwin 28, Sanju Samson 18; Sam Curran 2/24) lost to Punjab Kings: 145/5 (Sam Curran 63*, Rilee Rossouw 22, Avesh Khan 2/26). (ANI)

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