IPL 2024: Shikhar Dhawan’s 45, Jitesh’s 27 and Shashank’s cameo help PBKS reach 176/6 against RCB

Captain Shikhar Dhawan’s 45, along with Jitesh Sharma’s 27 and a late cameo from Shashank Singh

Bengaluru, March 25 (IANS) Captain Shikhar Dhawan’s 45, along with Jitesh Sharma’s 27 and a late cameo from Shashank Singh (21 not out) helped Punjab Kings reach 176/6 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

On a pitch that had something for the bowlers to exploit, it meant that RCB bowlers ensured the PBKS innings never got going, though Dhawan and Jitesh threatened to go hammer and tongs, with Shashank eventually sizzling with a cameo.

For RCB, Yash Dayal, Mohammed Siraj and Glenn Maxwell were excellent, while using the two-bouncer rule to good use by planning and executing the bumpers well to prise out the PBKS power-hitters, as they gave away only 48 runs in the last five overs.

Pushed into batting first, Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow hit three boundaries collectively before the latter top-edged a pull off Siraj to cover. While Dayal impressed with his frugal Power-play spells, Prabhsimran Singh got off the mark with an on-drive, presenting the full face of the bat for a boundary.

Dhawan stepped up by driving Alzarri Joseph twice for boundaries, before lofting and cutting off Mayank Dagar and Maxwell for six and four respectively. On the other hand, Prabhsimran sliced, whipped and heaved with ease to collect a four and two sixes.

The 55-run stand for the second wicket was broken when Prabhsimran’s top-edge on the pull off Maxwell was safely pouched by wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat in the ninth over. Liam Livingstone tried to boost the scoring rate by hammering Maxwell for a six and four but ended up giving a top edge to Rawat off a short ball from Joseph.

On the very next ball, Dhawan danced down the pitch to loft off Maxwell, but holed out to long-on. Jitesh began well by slamming Dagar for back-to-back sixes over the bowler’s head and deep square leg. From the other end, Sam Curran was dealing with hitting fours off fuller deliveries, as he and Jitesh added 50 runs off 35 balls for the fifth wicket.

But Dayal broke the partnership with a well-directed one which Curran looked to pull but was cramped for room and gloved behind to Rawat, who jumped to get his right arm and complete the catch in thin air.

In the next over, Jitesh tried to slap a bouncer off Siraj on the off-side, but it went high in the air and Rawat took the catch. Shashank flicked and hammered Joseph for a brace of sixes in the final over, before slashing a four over short third man to take 20 runs off the final over and take Punjab past 170.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings 176/6 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 45, Jitesh Sharma 27; Mohammed Siraj 2-26, Glenn Maxwell 2-29) against Royal Challengers Bengaluru

–IANS

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