Experienced Shikhar Dhawan may be out of place for India in the T20I setup, but that hasn’t dampened his desire to return to the national team.
HOW IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINT CHART
On Tuesday he produced a display of responsible and aggressive hitting in his unbeaten 62 as the Punjab Kings galloped to an easy eight wicket win over Gujarat Titans at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium on Tuesday.
Dhawan’s top cut, Alzarri Joseph, to a bullet aimed at his throat was the pick of his shots. He also took a special liking to his state mate Pradeep Sangwan, cutting him off on all threes.
The win means the Kings move to fifth in the standings with 10 points to stay in playoff contention as the Titans’ five-game winning streak comes to an end.
Dhawan and Sri Lankan striker Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored a crucial 87 runs for the second wicket after Jonny Bairstow left Mohammad Shami’s bowling early for 1.
Livingstone illuminates it
After Rajpaksa was trapped in front by Lockie Ferguson for 40, England slugger Liam Livingstone came through the middle and broke three sixes and two fours from a Shami to help the Kings triumph with four overs to spare. One of the six cleared the boundary of the mid-wicket and sailed as far as 117 yards.
The Hardik experiment goes wrong
Earlier, an experiment by Titans captain Hardik Pandya to set a goal, a captain’s first after winning the draw in a day-night match in the current edition of the IPL, appeared to backfire them as the table tops were held to an under- par 143/8 by the Punjab Kings. Sai Sudharsan scored with five limits and a six in his 65 undefeated innings.
The Kings’ bowling was led by South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who returned numbers of 4/36 and kept the score on the leash by slamming his knives into the pitch and depriving batters of the rhythm to time or hit the ball.
While leg spinner Rahul Chahar’s finger injury meant he couldn’t complete his full quota of overs, part-time spinner Livingstone played his part to perfection. For the Titans, the usual strong start from Gill and Saha is gone.
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