IPL 2024: Sloppy Rajasthan Royals let Punjab Kings reach 147/8

Impact sub Ashutosh Sharma shined with his 16-ball 31

Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson (R) reacts after dropping the catch of Punjab Kings' Ashutosh Sharma off Avesh Khan | AP

If not for their sloppiness in the field, Rajasthan Royals could have managed to contain Punjab Kings to a below-par total in Mohali on Saturday. Impact sub Ashutosh Sharma, who was given a lifeline due to the lack of coordination between RR captain Sanju Samson and Avesh Khan, made the most of the opportunity to take his side to a decent 147/8 in 20 overs. 

Given the way PBKS started, the total they managed may seem unrealistic. The home team had lost half the side even before reaching the three-digit mark and was left to reel at 122/7 with two overs left to play. Their batters struggled to muster any sort of momentum on a pitch that gripped a bit, especially for left-arm spinner Maharaj and leg-spinner Chahal. The last three power play overs could only fetch 10 runs for Kings as they ended that passage with a modest 38 for one.

Ashutosh Sharma lived up to the role of "Impact Sub" to find three maximums and a boundary before perishing in the last ball of the innings. Sloppy fielding was the Royals' Achilles heel in what was otherwise a fabulous bowling performance. Keshav Maharaj (2/23) and Avesh Khan (2/34) picked up two wickets each, while Trent Boult (1/22), Kuldeep Sen (1/35) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/31) bagged one each.

Liam Livingstone (21 off 14), who creamed Sen for a six and four off successive balls through mid-wicket, and Ashutosh, who smoked Avesh for two sixes in the 19th over, helped PBKS add 61 runs in the last five overs, but their effort came a wee bit late. 

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