IPL 2024: Shashank’s breathtaking 61* help Punjab beat Gujarat Titans by three wickets

Shashank Singh’s breathtaking unbeaten 61 and Ashutosh Sharma’s rapid-fire knock of 31 runs helped Punjab Kings (PBKS) beat host Gujarat Titans (GT) by three wickets with one ball to spare in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Thursday.

Shashank Singh’s breathtaking unbeaten 61 and Ashutosh Sharma’s rapid-fire knock of 31 runs helped Punjab Kings (PBKS) beat host Gujarat Titans (GT) by three wickets with one ball to spare in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Thursday.

Chasing the daunting target of 200, the Punjab Kings opener started on an aggressive note collecting 13 runs in the very first over of Azmatullah Omarzai. Bairstow known for his batting prowess cut the first delivery to backward point and then slapped through the covers for the boundary.

The Ahmedabad crowd roared in joy as Umesh Yadav rattled the in-form Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket off an inside edge. Skipper Dhawan got out for just one run. Prabhsimran Singh came at No.4 and got off the mark with a single through cover. The very eventful second over of the inning ended with a four as Prabhsimran stamped his authority through to sweeper cover for a boundary of Yadav’s pace delivery.


Yadav bowling the fourth and his second over of the inning got hammered for 12 runs as Prabhsimran collected a boundary and a maximum in the over.

Rashid Khan, who usually bowls in the middle overs, was introduced in the fifth over of the inning and ended with nine runs including a boundary. Bairstow looked attacking against the Pacers, hence skipper Gill brought spinners from both ends.

Left-arm Chinaman Noor Ahmad bagged the big wicket as he knocked out Bairstow’s middle-leg stump for 22. The home crowd roared once again as Noor tossed the ball up and landed it on a length outside leg. Bairstow completely missed the line of the ball and left a gap between the bat and the pad, and the ball sneaked through it and deflected off the back pad to rattle the stumps. Bairstow blasted 22 off 13 deliveries.

Prabhsimran Singh joined Sam Curran in the middle and continued collecting boundaries off loose deliveries, hammering 35 off 24 deliveries. Noor made things difficult for Punjab Kings once again by claiming a wicket for GT in his very next over.

Prabhsimran, who was looking solid at the crease, fell to poor shot selection. Noor tossed up the googly landing it around the middle and off, Prabhsimran was early into his shot and made up his mind to go across the line. All he managed was a top edge and Mohit Sharma, fielding at short third, hardly had to move his feet to complete the catch.

With two new batters (Sikandar Raza and Curran) on the crease, it was never easy for Punjab. Noor with two wickets in two overs mounted the pressure on the visitors. The Required Run Rate (RRR) has already increased to 11 runs per over. The onus was now on Curran, who had played the match-winning inning of 63 runs against Delhi Capitals in Punjab Kings’ first match IPL 2024.

The RRR pressure brought the big wicket of Curran as Omarzai, bowling his second over, got rid of him. Curran wanted to swivel and pull to exploit the space between deep square leg and long-on, but failed to get the elevation and hit it straight to Kane Williamson, fielding at short midwicket, and was out for 5 runs.

At the end of 10 overs, Punjab were 83 for 4 with Shashank Singh batting on 7 off 4 deliveries and Raza on 7 off 4 deliveries. Shashank thumped Noor for a maximum after collecting a single of his first delivery of the tenth over. The game was still wide open for both the teams as Punjab required 117 of the last 10 overs and the host needed six wickets.

Umesh Yadav was brought back into the attack and was taken to task as Shashank hammered him for 17 runs in the over. After three singles of the first three balls, the next three delivery fetched the batter 4, 6, 4. The Struggling Raza got out to Mohit Sharma trying to chip the full-length delivery over covers but only managed to get the thin edge to the wicketkeeper, scoring 15 runs.

The star performer for Punjab was the debutant Shashank Singh who continued scoring boundaries and kept the visitors in the game. Jitesh Sharma came at number seven and got off the mark with a single. However, the turning point of the game came in the last over of Rashid’s spell when Jitesh smashed back-to-back sixes before getting out on the very next delivery, scoring 16 off 8 deliveries. But still, Punjab had the edge with Shashank Singh timing the ball very well.

Punjab introduced their Impact Player Ashutosh Sharma, a debutant, in place of Arshdeep Singh. With 41 required off 18 deliveries, Sharma struck back-to-back boundaries to Omarzai and then collected a boundary on the last delivery. It was a big over that fetched 18 runs for Punjab, leaving them needing 25 off the last 12 deliveries. Shashank Singh scored his maiden IPL half-century in just 25 deliveries, and it came when it mattered the most.

Mohit Sharma, bowling his last over of the spell, was smoked for a maximum on the second delivery by Sharma. A double off the bat and off a leg bye took Punjab very close to the target. Sharma scored a single and then Shashank hammered a maximum on the last delivery of Mohit’s spell — Punjab now needed 7 runs in six balls to win the match.

The drama continued as Darshan Nalkande, bowling his first over of the match, claimed the prized wicket of Ashutosh Sharma with the batter chipping it straight to long-off. However, Shaskank maintained his calm and after a wide and a single from Harpreet Brar, won the match for Punjab Kings with a boundary and a single of a leg bye.

Brief score:

Gujarat Giants 199/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 89 not out, Sai Sudarshan 33; Kagiso Rabada 2-44, Harpreet Brar 1-33) lose to Punjab Kings 200/7 in 19.5 overs (Shashank Singh 61 not out, Prabhsimran Singh 35; Noor Ahmad 2-32, Darshan Nalkande 1-6) by three wickets


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