Match Number 66 of TATA Indian Premier League 2023 was played at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The game saw Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings face off on Friday night. The match is the final of the season for both the teams with both looking to win the game. Even a win on Friday night will not ensure either making the play off as they would want the results of other games to go their way.
The story so far –
Sanju Samson had no hesitation in taking the field first to bowl as he won the toss. Royals were at one point of time at the top of the table at the half way stage of the tournament. Back to back losses plus being bowled out for 59 in the game versus RCB did not help their chances.
Liam Livingstone’s smile leaves everyone confused –
Playing just his 2nd game of the season, Navdeep Saini was bowling in full tilt with a lot of fire. Liam Livingstone was coming off the unbeaten 94 he scored against Delhi to nearly win the game. Livingstone it seemed was still with the hangover of his previous knock, as he went for a wild swipe across the line.
Saini bowled one on a perfect length to disturb the furniture and send back Livingstone for 9. For some reason Livingstone had a smile on his face as Saini was running arms out wide.
Royals claim four quick wickets –
Prabhsimran Singh was out for 2 in the 2nd ball of the game thanks to a brilliant return catch by Trent Boult. Atharva Taide fell for 19 to give Saini his 1st wicket, while Dhawan was out to Zampa for 12. The 4th wicket to fall was Livingstone for 9 as Punjab Kings slid to 50/4 in the 7th over.
Jitesh Sharma leads the fightback with 44 –
Sam Curran was joined by Jitesh Sharma and the pair added 64 runs for the 5th wicket in just 44 balls. The 29 year old from Vidarbha has created a fan following post his amazing batting this year. Sharma scored 44 with the help of 3 fours and 3 sixes before he fell to Saini to give the 30 year old his 3rd wicket.
Sam Curran and Shah Rukh Khan lead Punjab to 187 –
Once the wicket of Jitesh Sharma was taken it was upto Sam Curran and Shah Rukh Khan to steady the ship. The pair added 73 runs for the 6th wicket and led Punjab to 187. The last two overs saw the pair hit 46 runs as Chahal was taken for over 28 runs. Curran stayed not out on 49 off 31 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes, while Shah Rukh Khan was not out on 44 off 23 balls with 2 sixes and 4 fours.
Twitter reacts –
Indian cricket fans were livid as well as wondering why Livingstone was smiling after falling to Saini. You can read all the tweets by the fans below.
Navdeep Saini is blazing. ♥️— Saran R S (@CricaholicJammy) May 19, 2023
Gun deliveries against Livingstone, outsmarting him.
Deserved the wicket. 💯♥️🥰#CricketTwitter
Yusuf Pathan and Harbhajan Singh on Liam Livingstone, "If we were coach, captain or mentor of Punjab Kings we will never pick him again".— Abhishek Ojha (@vicharabhio) May 19, 2023
This came after visuals of him smiling after being bowled were shown on the screen. pic.twitter.com/L1RMckuAqz
Bruh Liam Livingstone literally laughing after his dismissal. Guy be like, "who cares bruh, even if I get released some other franchise will pick me for like 5 chores minimum"— Karthikeyan Ganesan (@Karthik00161891) May 19, 2023
It's like English players literally know that they are favored and don't give a crap about performance!
Ye kon Commentator tha bhaji k sath jo bol rha m coach hota to m next year Livingstone ko bulau bhi nhi 😂— Abhinav (@realabhinavme) May 19, 2023
Aur bhaji bol rha h hass kyu rhe h to kya failure k baad teri tarah chaate maarna chalu krde ? #ipl2023 #PBKSvsRR