IPL 2024: Curran stars for Punjab as Rajasthan lose four in row

Wednesday's defeat to Punjab was a big blow to Royals' hopes of a top-two finish

Punjab Kings' captain Sam Curran (right) is congratulated by Rajasthan Royals' Yuzvendra Chahal after the match. — AFP


Published: Wed 15 May 2024, 11:01 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 May 2024, 11:02 PM

Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson was dejected after the team lost their fourth straight IPL match when they went down to Punjab Kings by five wickets on Wednesday.

Despite securing a place in the playoffs, Wednesday's defeat to the already-eliminated Punjab was a big blow to Royals' hopes of a top-two finish.


Rajasthan, who stay in second place with one game in hand, and table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders are the only two teams to have booked their playoff berth.

The top four teams make the playoffs, but the first and second-placed sides have the advantage of two chances to qualify for the final on May 26 in Chennai.

On Wednesday, skipper Sam Curran starred with bat and ball as Punjab Kings outclassed the faltering Rajasthan Royals for a consolation win.

Chasing a tricky 145 on a sluggish pitch, Punjab depended on Curran's unbeaten 63 to achieve their target with seven balls to spare in Rajasthan's adopted home ground in Guwahati.

Left-handed Curran put on a key 63-run stand with Jitesh Sharma, who made 22, and despite losing his partner in the 16th over steered the team home to lift them from the bottom of the 10-team table.

Impact substitute Ashutosh Sharma smashed 17 and the winning run to hand Rajasthan their fourth successive defeat in this edition of the T20 tournament.

"To be very honest, we have to sit back and accept that we are going through some failures," Rajasthan skipper Samson said.

"You have to find out what's not working well as a team. When you are getting to the business end, we need someone to raise their finger up and say I am going to win the game for the team. We have the players who can do that."

Punjab, who had already bowed out of the playoff race, kept the opposition down to 144-9 despite a 34-ball 48 by Riyan Parag.

Left-arm quick Curran bowled Yashasvi Jaiswal, for four, in the first over and then Samson departed for 18 off Nathan Ellis after a slow start.

Parag found Ravichandran Ashwin, who hit 28 off 19 balls, for company and the two attempted to push the scoring in their partnership of 50.

The rest of the batting faltered against a disciplined attack as Curran, fellow quick Harshal Patel and spinner Rahul Chahal took two wickets each.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals by five wickets.

Rajasthan Royals 144/9 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 48, Ravichandran Ashwin 28, Sanju Samson 18; Sam Curran 2/24)

Punjab Kings 145/5 in 18.5 overs (Sam Curran 63 not out, Rilee Rossouw 22, Avesh Khan 2/26)

Thursday's match:

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Titans

Hyderabad (6 pm UAE Time)



Published: Wed 15 May 2024, 11:01 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 May 2024, 11:02 PM

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