Sam Curran stars in PBKS’ consolation win


Sam Curran led from the front with an undefeated 63, alongside two scalps, as Punjab Kings registered a consolation five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati. PBKS hunted down the target of 145 in 18.5 overs.

Curran finds his groove

The stand-in PBKS skipper played with a mature head on his shoulders after they had lost three wickets upfront. He farmed the strike well and shared a key stand of 63 with Jitesh Sharma. When required, he also pulled, swept and lofted RR’s seamers and spinners to keep the scorecard ticking. At the other end, Jitesh played a couple of big shots too. Even after Jitesh was dismissed, Curran didn’t allow RR to mount a comeback. Eventually, he and Ashutosh Sharma provided the finishing touches with a couple of sixes. 

PBKS’ bowlers whittle away

The bowlers have to take the major share of the credit for the win, with the likes of Harshal Patel, Curran, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis and Rahul Chahar chipping away with wickets. On a slow deck, Harshal was the pick of the bowlers. He employed his dipping slower ones and mixed up his lengths nicely. He now is the Purple Cap holder with 22 wickets. That is quite a turnaround for a bowler who had started the tournament on a not-so-good note.  

Riyan Parag stands alone amid the ruins

The middle-order batter once more turned out to be the mainstay of the RR unit. Despite RR losing wickets at regular intervals, Parag played with composure. He also brought out the occasional drive and cut to ensure RR’s total would attain respectability. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove to be enough.

What has happened to RR?

Yes, RR have already qualified for the playoffs but they have now lost four matches in a row. The batting line-up, in particular, seems to have some holes. Jos Buttler has returned home due to national commitments. Tom Kohler-Camdore, making his IPL debut, looked nervy in tricky conditions for batting. Shimron Hetmyer’s injury has added to their woes.