IPL 2023: Arshdeep, Rajapaksa shine as Punjab Kings defeat KKR in a rain-affected clash

IPL Match 2023 Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders
IPL Match 2023 Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders


Punjab Kings led by Shikhar Dhawan are off to a winning start in IPL 2023. The Kings beat Nitish Rana and led Kolkata Knight Riders by 7 runs (DLS Method) in a rain-affected game.

KKR won the toss and elected to bowl first on a flat track at Mohali. Punjab Kings got to a fiery start. Local lad Prabhsimran Singh scored 23 runs in 12 balls before edging one to the keeper.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shikhar Dhawan paired up and smashed KKR bowlers to all corners of the ground. The duo added 86 runs in 54 balls. Bhanuka Rajapaksa notched up a quick-fire fifty in 32 balls, while Dhawan steadied the partnership from the other end.

Umesh Yadav comes back for his 2nd spell and gets rid of dangerous Rajapaksa. The batters to follow all played useful cameos powering Punjab Kings to a match-winning total of 191/5 in their 20 overs.

The big money boy Sam Curran showed his hitting prowess with the bat smashing 26 runs in 17 balls striking at 152.94. Jitesh Sharma scored 21 runs in 11 balls. Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakarvarthy were the stand-out bowlers for KKR. The momentum was clearly on Punjab’s side heading into halftime.

Arshdeep Singh Bounces out KKR Batters

Chasing a massive target of 192 outwalked the KKR batters. Rahmanullah Gurbaz got off to a flying start in the 1st over. Gurbaz smashed Sam Curran for a massive six over wide long off and followed it up with a classical flick through midwicket.

Arshdeep Singh dismissed Mandeep Singh on his first bowl of IPL 2023. Mandeep Singh tried to smash the bouncer for a six but hits it straight to Sam Curran at square leg.

Anukul Roy came in at number 3 and he was bounced out by Arshdeep Singh on the last ball of the 2nd over as Anukul edges one to Sikandar Raza standing at mid-wicket. KKR were in trouble early in their innings. Natha Ellis cleaned up Gurbaz for 22 runs and KKR struggled at 29/3 in 5 overs.

Rain Plays Spoiler for KKR’s Chase

KKR Captain Nitis Rana and impact player Venkatesh Iyer paired up and rebuilt KKR’s innings. The duo added 46 runs in 5 overs. Sikandar Raza playing his debut match got rid of Nitish Rana for 24 runs.

KKR were 80/ 4 at the halfway stage. Rahul Chahar dismissed Rinku Singh for 4 runs and KKR’s half-side was back in the dugout.

Andre Russell coming into bat at no 7 changed the momentum of the game completely with his big hitting. Russell scored 35 runs in 19 balls, smashing 3 fours and 2 sixes. KKR were ahead of the DLS par score by 15 runs at the end of 14 overs.

Sam Curran dismissed the dangerous Andre Russell after getting smashed for a six and four in the 15th over. Punjab Kings were once again back in the game.

Arshdeep Singh in his 2nd spell dismissed impact player Venkatesh Iyer for 34 runs. Sunil Narine smashed a six before the rain gods intervened in the game.

KKR lost two wickets in back-to-back overs which put Punjab Kings ahead of the DLS par score by 7 runs. The play had to be called off and Punjab Kings are up and running in IPL 2023. Arshdeep Singh was awarded player of the match for his match-winning figures of 3/19.

Takeaways from the game

Punjab Kings: The aggressive and positive approach from all the batters and The bowling form of Arshdeep Singh and Sikandar Raza is a huge plus for Punjab.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Kolkata Knight Riders will have to regroup themselves and asses the void in their top order. Their batting order isn’t that balanced. Their bowlers were off-target but KKR got a good bowling unit.

Post Match Interview

Shikhar Dhawan: It’s a great feeling to start the tournament with a win, we’ll try to take the momentum in the next game and carry that confidence ahead. According to the situation I used those bowlers, good thing we have got plenty of bowlers on the side (Source: Cricbuzz).

Nitish Rana: They batted well, and judged the wicket better than us. Anything could’ve happened if the rain didn’t arrive. Venkatesh got out unfortunately as we were trying to get ahead on DLS. The shot was on. Overall it was a good game. Plenty of learnings from it. It’s only the first game of the season. (Source: Cricbuzz)