Rajasthan Royals (RR) almost lost their IPL encounter game to Punjab Kings on Tuesday in Dubai before India U-19 pacer Kartik Tyagi (2-29) worked his magic in the final over of the match. Tyagi defended just four runs in the last over as Punjab fell two short in the end.
RR’s total of 185 seemed easy with Punjab skipper KL Rahul (49) and Mayank Agarwal’s (67) 120-run opening stand. However, Rahul was dropped thrice in the Powerplay, first by Evin Lewis, then Riyan Parag and finally by Chetan Sakariya when he was playing on two, 29 and 31 respectively.
In the final over of the game, Tyagi, 20, sent back Nicholas Pooran (32) and Deepak Hooda (0), conceding just a run in the bargain. “I think, 100 per cent, this is the No. 1 spell I have ever seen in my cricketing career. But now I hope Kartik can do it in the rest of the games too and win us more matches,” Parag said during the post-match virtual press conference.
Parag, who managed to score just four runs and gave away 16 runs in the only over he bowled, also lavished praise on left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman (0-30), who gave just four runs in the 19th over.
“We were in the driving seat after the first innings, but then I think, we were poor in the field and then the game was slipping away. But in the 19th over, I told Mustafizur, don’t let it finish in this over and that we have a chance with Kartik bowling the 20th over. And both the boys were insane, defending eight runs in the last two overs. That’s just incredible,” added Parag.
Meanwhile, Punjab head coach and former India skipper Anil Kumble was disappointed with his middle-order batsmen. “There was a clear message, saying we need to finish this game in 19 overs, and that was the approach. Unfortunately, we let it go till the end, and in the last couple of balls, with a new batsman going in, it is a bit of a lottery,” said Kumble.
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