Former India cricketer Suresh Raina praised skipper Shikhar Dhawan for controlling the innings and leading the Punjab Kings (PBKS) to victory defeating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by a narrow five-run margin in their second match of the IPL 2023 at the ACA Stadium in Guwahati. . Punjab Kings (PBKS) rode on skipper Shikhar Dhawan (86 runs; 56b, 9×4, 3×6) and his opening partner Prabhsimran Singh’s (60 runs; 34b, 7×4, 3×6) brilliant 90-run stand, and a magnificent spell from paceman Nathan Ellis. (4/30) to beat Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Chasing a stiff 198 for victory, RR fell short, managing 192/7 in their 20 overs. Shimron Hetmyer (36 runs; 18b, 1×4, 3×6) and Dhruv Jurel (32*; 15b, 3×4, 2×6) threatened to snatch the game away from PBKS towards the end but the latter held their nerves to record their second straight win in the tournament.
“He was performing the anchor’s role. Much is made about his strike rate but he played an impactful role. Look at the fact that he’s made 450 runs in 7 consecutive TATA IPL seasons. He knew that when the dew falls, the pace becomes easier . He batted responsibly and that’s why Punjab pulled off the performance they did. Shikhar had an important role to play in that.”
Ellis’s scalps included Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Devdutt Padikkal, and Riyan Parag. Another expert RP Singh said Ellis had a huge role in the win on JioCinema said “His contribution was massive. If you look at the wickets he took, he took out two of the most important batters. Jos Buttler, if he stayed in the game , he could’ve finished the game earlier. Then, Sanju Samson, who he trapped. It’s another thing when a partnership is building without boundaries, so he tried a different shot and got out as a result. Bowling was challenging here with all the dew for any fast bowler.
Anil Kumble complimented Hetmyer for his power and ability to punish bowlers for making mistakes.
“He clears his foot and he’s waiting for that ball in his arc. If it’s anything outside the off stump, he just smashes it. That’s something he’s brilliant at and puts pressure on the bowlers as well. In conditions like these, the bowler is under pressure. You know if you miss by even an inch, he’ll hit you for a six. That’s the power of Shimron Hetmyer,” said Kumble on JioCinema.
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