Gulf News experts joined hands with Dr Romit Purohit and Arif Vasaya, diehard fans of Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings, respectively, to take you through a thrilling opening match for the teams in the UAE leg of Indian Premier League 2021 in Dubai.
View the scorecard here
Final report: Tyagi 's brilliant final over conjures Rajasthan win over Punjab
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
Karthik Tyagi became the hero for Rajasthan Royals, conjuring up a two-run win over the Punjab Kings at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday. With Punjab needing four runs in the final over, Tyagi claimed two wickets for one run and Rajasthan walked away winners from a match that seemed lost.
After scoring 185, Rajasthan dropped Punjab skipper KL Rahul three times in the first six overs. Finally, when Rahul (49 from 33 balls) departed in the 12th over, he and Mayank Agarwal (67 off 43) had strung together a stand of 120. Aidan Markram (26 off 20) and Nicholas Pooran put together 57 more before Tyagi worked his magic.
Put to bat earlier, Rajasthan blazed away with the powerplay yielding 54 runs for Evin Lewis (36) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (54 off 36). They were 136/3 in the 14th over before a collapse derailed them. Only Mahipal Lomror (43 of 17) threatened briefly. Punjab grabbed seven wickets for 46 runs in the last 36 balls and Rajasthan’s promise of a score over 200 never materialised. Seamer Arshdeep Singh walked away with a five-wicket haul.
Mid-innings report: Rajasthan Royals set a target of 186 for Punjab
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
Rajasthan Royals racked up 185 in 20 overs when a score over 200 looked possible. So the Punjab Kings would be mighty pleased as they grabbed the last seven wickets in last six overs, conceding only 49 runs, in the IPL 2021 game at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, it was a good collective effort from the Royals, with Yashasvi Jaiswal (49) and Mahipal Lomror (43) leading the way. Much of the credit should go to openers Jaiswal and Evin Lewis (36), who patched together 54 runs in the powerplay.
At 136/3, with six overs left, Rajasthan were poised to score more than 200. However, Punjab bowlers reined them in with Arshdeep Singh grabbing five wickets. So Rajasthan may have scored 20 runs less, considering Punjab’s batting depth. But if Rajasthan can grab a couple of wickets in the powerplay, they could be back in the game.
By Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
The Punjab Kings and the Rajasthan Royals are dawdling in the second half of the IPL 2021 leaderboard. Both are on six points, although Rajasthan have a match in hand. That makes their clash in Dubai today a must-win encounter if they have to nurture ambitions of making the knockout stage.
Skipper KL Rahul has done the bulk of the scoring for Punjab, with plenty of assistance from Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan. Nicholas Pooran suffered from a wretched form in Phase 1 in India and would be keen to regain his touch in the UAE. In the absence of Australian quicks Meredith Riley and Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami will have to shoulder the attack. English leggie Adil Rashid should provide the cutting edge, but the pace attack looks a bit undercooked.
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Captain Sanju Samson has led Rajasthan’s run charts and he will miss the prolific scoring of Jos Buttler. England’s Liam Livingstone, who sat out Phase 1 and returned home early, should get a regular slot. So should Evin Lewis. Both of them would want to recreate their magical form in The Hundred in IPL too. That should help the fragile Rajasthan batting.
Punjab’s batting is more solid, but Rajasthan’s attack looks sharper. So it’s evenly matched. That should make for an exciting contest.