A captain's knock of an unbeaten 85 by Shikhar Dhawan along with Prabhsimran Singh's maiden fifty helped Punjab Kings (PBKS) set a 198-run target for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 8 of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) here at Barsapara Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
With his unbeaten 85 off 56 balls, Dhawan completed his 50th 50-plus score in his IPL career. He now has 48 half-centuries and two tons, while Jason Holder was the pick of the bowlers for PBKS, picking up two wickets after conceding 29 runs in his four-over quota.
Prabhsimran gave PBKS a strong start, hitting Trent Boult for a boundary over the covers and six off the bowling of K.M Asif in the first two overs. Shikhar Dhawan then hit the paddle in the third over, slamming back-to-back boundaries to Boult.
Prabhsimran continued with his merry ways as he slammed Asif for three boundaries and a six, taking 18 runs off the fourth over. He followed it up with two fours against Ravichandran Ashwin in the next over.
Jason Holder created a chance to dismiss Prabhsimran, who ended up slicing the hit and the ball swirled in the air, but Devdutt Padikkal lost balance while trying to clutch, the ball hit his hands and went away. With just seven coming off the sixth over, PBKS posted 63 for no loss in the Power-play.
After Power-play, RR bowlers kept PBKS' run rate in check with just two big hits coming in the next four overs. In between, Prabhsimran completed his maiden IPL half-century with a single off 28 deliveries in the eighth over before falling to Holder in the tenth over for 60.
Prabhsimran looked to slap it but ended up slicing the ball and it went aerial and Buttler plucked a sensational catch, diving forward after running in from long-off, ending the 90-run opening partnership. Halfway through PBKS were 92 for 1.
The next over PBKS suffered another blow as Bhanuka Rajapaksa was taken off the field by the physios after getting hit in the forearm on his right hand by Dhawan's shot. Jitesh Sharma then came to join Dhawan.
Jitesh shifted the gears in the 12th over, hitting Chahal for two successive boundaries followed by a brilliant six by Dhawan, who launched the ball powerfully over long-on, collecting 18 runs off the over. An over later, Dhawan brought up his 48th IPL fifty with a boundary.
Dhawan and Jitesh accelerated the run rate with their calculated batting and stitched a 66-run stand for the second wicket, which Chahal broke in the 16th over, dismissing Jitesh for 27.
After the strategic time-out, Dhruv Jurel came in as an impact player, replacing Chahal.
On the very first ball of the 17th over, Ravichandran Ashwin cleaned up Sikander Raza for 1 as the Royals lost two wickets in no time. In the final over, Holder got his second in the form of Shahrukh Khan, who scooped it in the air towards long-on and Buttler ran in, and slid forward to take a fine catch.
With 45 runs coming off the last three overs for the loss of two wickets, PBKS posted a total of 197 for four in 20 overs.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 197/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 86 not out, Prabhsimran Singh 60; Jason Holder 2-29) against Rajasthan Royals