Mohali (Punjab) [India], April 1 (ANI): An explosive half-century by Bhanuka Rajapaksa and his 86-run stand with skipper Shikhar Dhawan helped Punjab Kings reach a competitive total of 191/5 against Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the home setting of Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Saturday.
After being put to bat first by KKR, PBKS got off to a solid start. Opener Prabhsimran Singh provided some early blitz, smashing Umesh Yadav for a six over the square leg on the fourth ball of the innings. Tim Southee was also smashed for two successive fours and a six in the second over. But the bowler had the last laugh as Prabhsimran was caught by wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 23 off 12 balls, with two fours and two sixes. PBKS was 23/1 at that point in 2 overs.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa joined skipper Shikhar Dhawan on the crease. Shikhar smashed Southee for two straight fours in the fourth over. Rajapaksa continued from where Prabhsimran had left, smashing Sunil Narine for two fours and a six in the fifth over.
PBKS touched the 50-run mark in five overs. Shikhar ended the powerplay on a high, hitting Varun Chakaravarthy for a four-over covers. At the end of six overs, PBKS was at 56/1, with Rajapaksa (18*) and Shikhar (15*) unbeaten at the crease.
Rajapaksa continued to attack the loose balls, while Dhawan kept the other end steady. A fifty-run stand was up in just 33 balls.
PBKS reached the 100-run mark in 10 overs, with Rajapaksa (46*) and Shikhar (29*) unbeaten at the crease.
Rajapaksa reached his maiden IPL fifty in just 30 balls, with five fours and two sixes. However, he could not add more to it as he was dismissed by Umesh Yadav just two balls later for 50. Rinku Singh took a comfortable catch near the boundary. PBS was 109/2 in 11 overs. With this, ended an 86-run stand between the two.
Jitesh Sharma came next on the crease. He played some eye-catchy shots, but his stay on the crease could last only 10 balls. He scored 21 runs with two sixes and a four before he played a slower ball from Southee straight into the hands of Umesh Yadav.
IPL debutant Sikander Raza was next up on the crease and he announced his arrival with a four on his very first ball.
Skipper Dhawan’s stay at the crease was ended by Varun, who clean-bowled him for 40 off 29 balls, consisting of six fours. PBKS was 143/4 in 14.3 overs.
At the end of 15 overs, PBKS was at 143/4, with Raza (6*) and Sam Curran (0*) at the crease.
PBKS reached the 150-run mark in 15.4 overs with the help of a massive six from Raza.
Raza’s innings came to end at a 13-ball 16. Sunil Narine, who proved to be expensive, took his first wicket after skipper Nitish Rana caught the batter. Half the PBKS side was back in the hut for 168 runs.
Shahrukh Khan was next up on the crease. PBKS finished their innings at 191/5. 15 runs came in the final over. Shahrukh (11*) and Sam Curran (26*) ended unbeaten.
Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers for KKR, taking 2/54 in his four overs. Narine, Varun and Umesh also got a wicket each.
Brief Scores: PBKS: 191/5 (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 50, Shikhar Dhawan 40, Tim Southee 2/54) vs KKR. (ANI)
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Source: The Print