File photo of Yashasvi Jaiswal.© BCCI
Rajasthan Royals pulled off a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings in Match No. 66 of IPL 2023 in Dharamsala on Friday night to theoretically stay in contention for a play-off place. Set a tricky target of 188 for victory, the Royals, reached 189/6 in 19.4 overs with Shimron Hetmyer scoring 46, opener Yashasvi Jaiswal hitting 50 and Devdutt Padikkal hammering 51. Earlier, PBKS scored 187/5 thanks largely to the efforts of Sam Curran 49 not out, Jitesh Sharma 44 and M Shahrukh Khan 41 not out.
The win took the Royals to 14 points after the conclusion of their league games, while PBKS finished their season with 12 points from 14 games. The Royals moved to fifth position and their fortunes in the tournament depend on the results of the remaining matches as both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, who have a game in hand each, have 14 points each as well.
Analysing Royals’ performance, JioCinema IPL expert Pragyan Ojha said: “I think it’s too late now. For a team who you kept in your top four before the start of the tournament to now come and think that they can advance only if the other team that is in contention loses is a situation they brought upon themselves.”
“That is something they have to think about. As Raina (Suresh) pointed out Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler got out for ducks in five of the 14 games. Then they were left searching for bowlers, also the way they used their bowlers… The small things add up to something big and it is visible in the eventual result,” he added.
Speaking about Jaiswal, another JioCinema IPL expert Suresh Raina said: “There is a certain calmness in his batting. There is a different energy in his body language, scoring runs consistently for his team. For this, I’ll give a lot of credit to Kumar Sangakkara who is sitting in their dugout. He’s (Jaiswal) a different type of player. He looks to dominate. And any player who looks to dominate in this format reaches a different level. He has all those qualities.”
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