Punjab Kings (PBKS) delivered an explosive batting performance in their first innings against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali. Bhanuka Rajapaksa and skipper Shikhar Dhawan’s powerful partnership propelled PBKS to a competitive total of 191/5.

After being asked to bat first by KKR, PBKS got off to a strong start, with opener Prabhsimran Singh hitting Umesh Yadav for a six and Tim Southee for two consecutive fours and a six. However, Southee dismissed Singh for 23 off 12 balls, leaving PBKS at 23/1.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa joined Shikhar Dhawan at the crease and carried the momentum forward by punishing Sunil Narine with two fours and a six. The duo helped PBKS reach 56/1 at the end of the powerplay, setting the stage for a big total.

The pair continued to dominate, reaching a 50-run partnership in just 33 balls. PBKS crossed the 100-run mark in 10 overs, with Rajapaksa and Dhawan still at the crease.

Rajapaksa scored his maiden IPL fifty off just 30 balls but was dismissed soon after by Umesh Yadav for 50. The 86-run stand between Rajapaksa and Dhawan was crucial in building PBKS’ solid total.

Jitesh Sharma, Sikandar Raza, and Sam Curran contributed valuable runs to the scoreboard, with Sharma scoring 21 runs in 10 balls before being dismissed by Southee. IPL debutant Raza made a quick 16 off 13 balls before being caught by Nitish Rana off Sunil Narine’s bowling.

Dhawan’s innings came to an end when he was bowled by Varun Chakravarthy for 40 off 29 balls. PBKS finished their innings at 191/5, with Shahrukh Khan (11*) and Sam Curran (26*) remaining unbeaten.

Tim Southee emerged as the pick of the bowlers for KKR, claiming 2/54 in his four overs. Narine, Varun, and Umesh each took a wicket as well.

Brief Scores: PBKS: 191/5 (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 50, Shikhar Dhawan 40, Tim Southee 2/54) vs KKR.

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