IPL: Hetmyer smashes 31* from 16 to keep Royals in third

Rajasthan Royals 190 for 4 (Jaiswal 68, Hetmyer 31*, Padikkal 31, Arshdeep 2-29) beat Punjab Kings 189 for 5 (Bairstow 56, Jitesh 38*, Chahal 3-28) by six wickets


A returning Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a sparkling half-century from the top of the order as Rajasthan Royals chased down 190 against Punjab Kings with two balls to spare. The win helped them consolidate their third position on the points table.

Cameos from Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson gave Royals a flying start, but with Devdutt Padikkal struggling at No. 4, Jaiswal almost singlehandedly steered the chase for a large part with his 68 off 41 balls. Royals still needed 49 off 34 balls when he was dismissed, and despite Padikkal dragging them back with a 32-ball 31, Shimron Hetmyer took them over the line with an unbeaten 31 off 16 balls.

Earlier, after Samson lost his tenth toss in 11 games, Punjab Kings rode on Jonny Bairstow’s half-century and fireworks towards the end from Jitesh Sharma and Liam Livingstone to post a formidable total. It looked sufficient at the halfway stage, but didn’t turn out to be.

Yashasvi Jaiswal punches the air in delight after reaching his fifty off 33 balls• May 06, 2022•BCCI

A mixed day for Boult

Opening the bowling, Trent Boult found swing with his first delivery, but it ended up on the pads and Bairstow flicked it through midwicket for four. Three balls later, Boult switched to around the wicket, but again strayed down the leg side. Bairstow helped it past short fine leg for another boundary. But Boult made a strong comeback in his second over – bowling a maiden to Shikhar Dhawan – but went for 18 in his third as Bairstow and Shikhar hit him for two fours and a six.

Bairstow, Rajapaksa keep the attack going

R Ashwin sent back Shikhar in the final over of the powerplay, with Buttler back-pedalling at mid-on, leaping high, and plucking the ball out of the air with his right hand. But Bairstow and Bhanuka Rajapaksa kept the attack on. Facing only his third ball, Rajapaksa smashed Yuzvendra Chahal for six. Two overs later, he launched Kuldeep Sen over long-off before hitting Prasidh Krishna for back-to-back fours. Bairstow, too, found the boundary at regular intervals and the two took the side to 88 for 1 after ten overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal gave himself enough opportunities to show off his new celebration, Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2022, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, May 7, 2022

Chahal strikes back

Coming into this game, the Kings had the lowest scoring rate (6.80) against spin among the ten teams in the tournament. And spin once again proved to be their Achilles’ heel. Rajapaksa stepped out to Chahal only to be bowled. Bairstow brought up his half-century, his first of the season, off 34 balls but Chahal returned to dismiss Mayank Agarwal and Bairstow in the same over. That left Kings on 122 for 4 after 15 overs with two new batters at the crease.

Yuzvendra Chahal gave himself enough opportunities to show off his new celebration• BCCI

Jitesh, Livingstone finished strongly

It looked like the Royals might restrict Kings to 175 but Jitesh took the lead and hit Prasidh for two consecutive fours before walloping Chahal for a six. Livingstone was on 12 off ten balls before hitting Prasidh for a six and a four in the space of three balls. But the seamer cut his innings short when he moved too far across to a full and straight ball and was bowled. In the final over, Jitesh hit Sen for 6, 4, 4 off successive balls to ensure a strong finish. (ESPNcricinfo)


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