Mumbai: A solid batting performance earned Rajasthan Royals a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League today.
Young opening batter Yashasvi Jaiswal (68) made an impactful half-century in his return after struggling earlier this season as Rajasthan reached 190-4 with two balls to spare.
Jonny Bairstow had earlier made 56 off 40 balls before Jitesh Sharma (38 not out) and Liam Livingstone (22) lifted Punjab’s total to 189-5.
The first successful run-chase this season has revived Rajasthan’s campaign with 14 points from 11 games and a run-rate of 0.326. Punjab, which has a run-rate of -0.231, is seventh with 10 points.
Bairstow dominated the 47-run first-wicket stand with Shikhar Dhawan (12) before leaping Jos Buttler plucked a splendid one-handed catch over his head to dismiss Dhawan off Ravichandran Ashwin’s first ball in the last over of the batting powerplay.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3-28) pulled back well in the middle overs and got the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Bairstow in one over. But Jitesh and Livingstone lifted the total as Punjab scored 67 runs in the last five overs.
Rajasthan run-machine Buttler (30) and Jaiswal provided their team a brisk start against the Punjab pace with the Englishman smashing Kagiso Rabada for 20 off an eventful fourth over.
Buttler completed his 600 runs this season by smacking the South African fast bowler for a six over wide mid-wicket and followed it up with three boundaries before trying a scoop of a wide delivery and getting caught at short third man.
Skipper Sanju Samson played a little cameo of 23 off 12 balls before holing out in the deep in the ninth over. Devdutt Padikkal, demoted down the order, and Jaiswal then added 56 runs before Jaiswal was picked on the edge of the boundary by Livingstone.
But Shimron Hetmyer blazed three fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 31 off 16 balls and carried Rajasthan over the line despite Arshdeep Singh (2-29) dismissing Padikkal in the penultimate over.