IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals pull off a heist against Punjab Kings

In their first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021’s UAE leg, Rajasthan Royals pulled off a heist against Punjab Kings. The Punjab-based side seemed in possession for the majority of the game at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, where they were chasing a target of 186. Before giving the baton to the middle order, openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal scored 120 runs for the first wicket.

While PBKS’ victory appeared to be a foregone conclusion at this point, some outstanding death bowling changed the game in Rajasthan’s favour. Young pacer Kartik Tyagi allowed a solitary run in the final over while defending a meagre four runs as RR walked away with an incredible two-run victory.

Following the game’s completion, the celebrations continued in the locker room. Rajasthan Royals players were filmed openly after the game in a video shared by the team’s official Twitter account. Kartik Tyagi and Chetan Sakariya, two young pacers, were also shown dancing without their shirts on in the video.

After the last-over drama, Tyagi emerges as the hero while Punjab loses the game. KL Rahul, returning to his happy hunting field at the Dubai International Stadium, made his intentions known immediately at the toss. Before Kartik Tyagi orchestrated a coup to help Rajasthan Royals steal a win, he wanted to chase, even if the aim was a lofty 186. 

Rahul (49 off 33; 4×4, 6×2) and his loyal lieutenant Mayank Agarwal (67 off 43; 4×7, 6×2) nearly insured that the Mohali-based team resumed their IPL season with a victory before three deliveries of Tyagi changed the course of the match. Rajasthan’s fielding had been a disaster earlier, with Evin Lewis, Riyan Parag, and Chetan Sakaria all dropping the Punjab skipper on three separate occasions. While Lewis dropped Rahul on two, Parag missed another after the batter reached a quick 29, and Rahul received a third life from Sakaria after adding a few of runs. Earlier, despite the heroics of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mahipal Lomror, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh’s career-best figures of 5/32 drew Punjab back into the game as they managed to hold Rajasthan to 185.

Jaiswal opened the Rajasthan innings with a career-best 49 off 36 balls, courtesy of six beautiful boundaries and a pair of monster sixes that spoke volumes about the influence of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on the kid. The Mumbai team had a session with Tendulkar ahead of their trip of Oman last month, and Jaiswal had claimed to be picking the little master’s brains.

However, Lomror’s six-studded 17-ball 43 eclipsed his efforts slightly. In the company of Jaiswal, Evin Lewis showed glimpses of his sheer force with a 21-ball 36 that included seven boundaries and a six to give Rajasthan a 54-run opening stand. Rajasthan will be pleased with their new import’s approach in his maiden innings, having been brought in as a substitute for the talismanic Jos Buttler.

Sanju Samson (4) was dismissed cheaply by KL Rahul, who took a stunning catch off debutant Ishan Porel. Rajasthan’s second debutant, Liam Livingstone, was also dismissed after a quick 17-ball 25, but he showed signs of promise.

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