Riding on opener Yashasvi Jaiswal career-best 68, Rajasthan Royals beat Punjab Kings by six wickets, strengthening their chances of a play-off berth. Coming in place of Karun Nair, the 20-year-old picked the gaps with ease in a 41-ball 68 (9×4, 2×6) to brilliantly set it up for the Rajasthan Royals in their tall 190-run chase at the Wankhede.
The Royals won with two balls to spare. With its first successful run-chase, Royals are now on 14 points from 11 matches in third place and one more win will firmly put them in contention for a play-off berth.
Blow to Punjab hopes
The loss was a big blow to Punjab hopes as they now have 10 points from 11 matches. The win also meant that the five-time champions Mumbai Indians became the first team to be eliminated from the IPL-15 season.
Jaiswal, who was among the three players retained by the franchise, played only his fourth match this season. He took the game by its scruff after Orange Cap holder Jos Buttler (30 off 16 balls; 5×4, 1×6) departed inside the powerplay.
Jaiswal keeps going
Skipper Sanju Samson (23) too was dismissed cheaply but Jaiswal held his nerve and raced to his third IPL half century, his first this season off just 33 balls. Be it with his unorthodox reverse sweep to Rahul Chahar or lap-scoop off Rishi Dhawan or classical drives, Jaiswal looked in total control in a 37-ball 56-run partnership with Devdutt Padikkal.
When Jaiswal finally departed after miscuing one to Arshdeep Singh, the equation had been reduced to an easy 49 off 35 balls. But Arshdeep (2/29) bowled a brilliant penultimate over giving just three runs and taking the wicket of Padikkal (31). Needing eight runs from the last over, Hetmyer struck a six to seal the chase with two balls to spare.
It was in fact leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who earlier brilliantly set it up for Rajasthan by bowling a tidy 28-3 spell which included 10 dot balls. Chahal dismissed Mayank Agarwal (15) and Jonny Bairstow (56 off 40 balls) off three balls to derail Punjab in the middle overs (10-15).
It was Jitesh Sharma’s cameo that propelled Punjab Kings to a challenging 189/5. Promoted at No. 5 ahead of Liam Livingstone (22 off 14 balls), Jitesh clobbered four boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten 38 from 18 balls.