8th Match (N), Guwahati, April 05, 2023, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:198) 192/7

PBKS won by 5 runs

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
129.1 ptsImpact List

Dhawan, Ellis and Prabhsimran help Kings survive Impact Sub scare

The Royals youngster Jurel almost won it for them in the end as he went on a boundary-hitting spree with Hetmyer

Alan Gardner
Alan Gardner
Punjab Kings 197 for 4 (Dhawan 86*, Prabhsimran 60) beat Rajasthan Royals 192 for 7 (Samson 42, Ellis 4-30) by five runs
Punjab Kings made it two wins from two - and two defences under lights - as they held off a late-innings rampage from Rajasthan Royals to ensure Guwahati's IPL debut ended in defeat for the home side. Kings rode on half-centuries from Prabhsimran Singh and Shikhar Dhawan and, although they fell short of passing 200, Nathan Ellis' four-wicket haul was vital in hobbling Royals in the chase.
Dhawan, who became the third batter after David Warner and Virat Kohli to record 50 scores of 50-plus in the IPL, anchored Kings to what was perhaps only a par score at the compact Barsapara Stadium with an unbeaten 86 off 56. Only 45 runs came off the last five overs, with economical spells from Jason Holder and R Ashwin pivotal in preventing the game from running away after Prabhsimran had helped fire Kings to 63 for 0 in the powerplay.
Royal then shipped wickets at regular intervals, despite some crisp hitting from Sanju Samson. They seemed out of contention at 129 for 6 at the end of the 16th over, only for Shimron Hetmyer and Dhruv Jurel, Royals' Impact Sub, to summon a boundary-hitting spree that reduced the requirement to 16 off the final over, bowled by Sam Curran. But the IPL's record overseas signing held his nerve at the end of an otherwise indifferent performance to hand Royals a first defeat of the 2023 edition.

Prabhsimran comes out swinging

As he had in Kings' opening victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, Prabhsimran set the early tempo after his side were inserted. He clubbed his third ball, from Trent Boult, over mid-off and then spanked his first in KM Asif's second over into the stand at deep backward square leg. In the next from Asif, Prabhsimran helped himself to 18 more - three crashing fours and a six - before hitting Ashwin's second and third balls for boundaries as well.
He was dropped by Devdut Padikkal from the final ball of the powerplay, a sizzling drive bursting through the fielder's grasp at cover as he threw the hands up, but had already made 44 by that point. A maiden IPL half-century followed in the eighth over, from just 28 balls, and there was time for one more belligerent mow into the sightscreen off Boult before a miscue looking to take Holder over the leg side was athletically taken by Jos Buttler sprinting in from long-off.

Dhawan gets it done

Despite playing second fiddle to Prabhsimran during their opening stand, Dhawan went through the gears with aplomb through the second half of the innings. From 30 off 30 with three boundaries, he motored through to a 36-ball fifty - he took particular toll on Yuzvendra Chahal, who was dispatched for 6-1-4-4-2-4 on the way to a head-to-head analysis of 33 from 14 balls against the Kings captain.
Dhawan's charge enabled Kings to ransack 57 runs in a four-over span, having been briefly checked by the dismissal of Prabhsimran and a blow to Bhanuka Rajapaksa's forearm - sustained at the non-striker's end off a Dhawan drive - that forced him to retire hurt but, as Rajapaksa confirmed on Twitter later, was not serious*. Chahal removed Jitesh Sharma after a 66-run stand, and Ashwin then pinged the top of Sikandar Raza's off stump, but Dhawan revved the engine again, an audacious reverse-flick off Jason Holder sailing for six over deep backward point.
Asif, who leaked 20 from 11 balls to Dhawan, was ramped for six more in the 19th over and a Dhawan century was not out of the question. But he couldn't get on strike for the final over, Holder conceding just seven runs to keep Kings below 200.

Arshdeep strikes, Samson counters

With Buttler needing stitches on his fingers after taking a low catch from the last over of the Kings innings, Royals opted to send out Ashwin to open the batting alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal. An action-packed powerplay then began with Jaiswal nonchalantly swatting the first ball of the chase, bowled by Curran, into the crowd at deep square leg.
Jaiswal struck Arshdeep's first delivery to the rope as well, but fell in the same over when he flubbed a drive to cover. Buttler by this point was fit to walk out, and the Ashwin gambit ended in failure when he mistimed a pull to go without scoring in Arshdeep's second over. Kings had already seen Buttler survive a chance by that point, with Harpreet Brar putting down a running catch in the deep off Curran.
Samson looked to put the pressure back on straight away, smoking Arshdeep straight back down the ground from his second ball. He took Brar and Ellis for back-to-back fours in consecutive overs as Royals breezed past 50 from 31 balls - but when Buttler diverted a caught-and-bowled chance back to Ellis off his pads, Royals were 57 for 3 and wobbling.

Ellis mops up

Ellis only played twice for Kings in 2022 but has made himself a first-choice overseas pick in the 12 months since, keeping Kagiso Rabada out of the XI. He added Samson to his bag just past the midway point of the innings and was on a hat-trick when he had Riyan Parag, the local boy whose volley of boundaries brought the crowd back to life, taken at long-off a few overs later. Hetmyer survived but Padikkal was bowled neck and crop for a limp 21 off 26 to finish the over. Ellis' fourth went for 16 but figures of 4 for 30 were the difference in what became a tight chase.

Impact player: Dhruv Jurel and Rishi Dhawan

Kings looked like becoming the second team, after Royal Challengers Bangalore, not to introduce an impact sub; they eventually brought on Rishi Dhawan for Prabhsimran after 15 overs of their defence, but he was not used with the ball as his opposite number threatened to have a match-turning impact. Jurel had initially trotted on at the end of the 16th over in Kings innings, after Chahal had bowled his allocation. Batting at No. 8, the 22-year-old showed both power and a cool temperament to thump 32 from 15 in only his fourth T20 innings, as Royals' seventh-wicket pair took the game to the wire.
*The report was updated after Bhanuka Rajapaksa's tweet the morning after the game.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

Win Probability
PBKS 100%
100%50%100%PBKS InningsRR Innings

Over 20 • RR 192/7

Shimron Hetmyer run out (Shahrukh Khan/Curran) 36 (18b 1x4 3x6 35m) SR: 200
PBKS won by 5 runs
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