Pace bowler Kartik Tyagi on Tuesday defended four off the last over as Rajasthan Royals edged out Punjab Kings by two runs in an IPL thriller.
Needing 18 off 18 balls, Punjab lost their way, and Tyagi gave away just one run and took two wickets in the 20th over to keep the opposition down to 183-4 while chasing 186 in Dubai.
Rajasthan, who come into the revived Twenty20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates without their key England imports, posted 185, with Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scoring with 49.
England players, including Ben Stokes who is on a mental health break, Jofra Archer who is injured and Jos Buttler who is not playing for personal reasons, are missing from the Royals’ team.
However, Tyagi and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who gave away just four runs in the 19th over, kept Rajasthan in the hunt for the playoffs as they remained fifth on the eight-team table.
“It’s funny that we kept believing [that we could win],” Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson said. “I kept the overs of Mustafizur and Tyagi for the end, believing. Cricket is a funny game right. We just kept fighting and believing.”
Evin Lewis of the West Indies hit a quick-fire 36 and put on 54 with fellow left-hander Jaiswal after Rajasthan were invited to bat first.
Jaiswal fell short of his 50, but hit six fours and two sixes in his 36-ball knock before Mahipal Lomror contributed 43.
Left-arm paceman Arshdeep Singh claimed his first five-wicket haul in the IPL as Punjab checked Rajasthan’s surge in the final few overs.
In reply, skipper K.L. Rahul (49) and Mayank Agarwal (67) put on 120 for the first wicket to set up the chase in the absence of the big-hitting Chris Gayle, who was left out of the team.
South Africa’s Aiden Markram made an unbeaten 36 and Nicholas Pooran hit 32 before falling to Tyagi on the third ball of the final over.
The tournament resumed on Sunday after it was halted in May because of a devastating surge in COVID-19 deaths in India, prompting foreign players to rush home.
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