On April 12, 2021, Punjab Kings (PBKS) beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) challenge match, to win the highest-scoring thriller in the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. In the last over, Arshadeep Singh scored 13 runs before PBKS captain KL Rahul scored 91 to win by 4 runs.
After a total of 221 runs, the RRs need a strong and explosive start from their openers. But, Mohammad Shami and Arshadeep Singh put up their hold on to catch to get rid of Ben Stokes and Manan Vohra respectively.
Samson and Jose Buttler had a mountain to climb, but the pressure of the opening wicket did not allow them to be affected. Butler counterattacked in the fourth over. The right-handed pacer was welcomed with four fours in a row in the IPL. Sanju Samson hit two fours to Arshdeep in the sixth over as moved to RR 59/2 at the end of the powerplay.
After scoring 13 in the first over, Jhye Richardson came back on the attack and managed to escape from the dangerous butler, cleverly deceiving the right-hander with the slow ball. And the RR captain continued to play shots with the help of his best time and scored fifty runs in his IPL captaincy debut.
Shivam Dube, who joined Samson, had a short stay at the crease after he holed out into the deep, granting Arshdeep his second wicket of the innings. After 6 overs, Riyan Parag cracked the ball from the ball and made things easier for his captain at the other end. In the 16th over, Murugan Ashwin bowled Samson and Parag for 20 runs.
With 48 required off the final four overs, skipper Rahul brought Shami back into the attack and the pacer scalped the vital wicket of Riyan Parag in his final over of the match.
The right-hander scored an excellent century, but could not stop the RR captain, becoming the first batsman to score a century in his IPL captaincy debut. In the last over, Meredith took his first IPL wicket and PBKS was able to dismiss Rahul Tewatia.
The challenge for Samson was to complete the innings for a team that needed 13 runs off the last six balls. Arshadeep, who has already taken two wickets in the match, has been given the final responsibility of bowling the last over.
The left-arm pacer bowled exceptionally well. When the last ball needed 5 runs, Samson pushed the ball into the gall and Deepak Hooda caught the best running run, helping PBKS to bite the nail of a match.
Earlier, PBKS was included in the batting. Captain KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal scored 21 runs in the first two overs. But, Chetan Sakaria, playing his first IPL game, bowled Agarwal for 14 in the third over.
Chris Gayle also joined Rahul after the Mustafizur Rehman boundary when PBKS completed the powerplay 42/1. Rahul got life in the seventh over when Shreyas Gopal’s Ben Stokes came off the field.
The boundaries kept flowing off the bat for both Rahul and Gayle as the duo played some crisp shots, adding 24 runs in the next two overs to push RR on the backfoot.
Ryan Parag, who received a big wicket for Gayle like Stokes, was there for a long time, and some took some time for his front drop. Rahul, however, was going strong on one end, as he brought up his first fifty of the season in style with a maximum in the 13th over.
Hooda joined the party by hitting five huge sixes in 13, 14 overs. First, he smashed two sixes off the medium pace of Shivam Dube, and then took Shreyas Gopal to the cleaners, with three sixes
PBKS 161-2 with five overs to spare. The Royals worked very hard to keep Hooda and Rahul out. By the end of Hooda’s best innings, the duo had destroyed 26 runs in the next two overs, again trying to clear the ropes.
Nicholas Pooran didn’t disturb the scorers after the left-hander got out for a first-ball duck, thanks to a spectacular catch by Sakariya, who continued to shine on his debut.
The PBKS skipper, on the other hand, went into the eighties, but after Tewatia’s spectacular performance on the field, the RR got their man. Zakaria took two wickets in the last over to end the innings at PBKS 221/6.
Punjab Kings 221/6 (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64, Chetan Zakaria 3/31) beat Rajasthan Royals 217/7 (Sanju Samson 119, Ryan Parag 25, Arshadeep Singh 3/35) for 4.