Punjab Kings emerged victorious in a rain-affected Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 7 runs. The Kings set a target of 192 runs for the Knight Riders at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Kolkata managed to score 146/7 in 16 overs before rain stopped play, handing the Kings a win based on the DLS method.

Kolkata’s innings got off to a disastrous start, losing two wickets in the first two overs. Sam Curran and Arshdeep Singh put the brakes on the Knight Riders’ scoring, with Singh claiming the wickets of Mandeep Singh and Anukul Roy.

IPL debutant Rahmanullah Gurbaz showed promise with a 16-ball 22 before falling to Nathan Ellis’ bowling. Captain Nitish Rana and impact substitute Venkatesh Iyer then tried to steady the ship for KKR, adding 46 runs for the fourth wicket. However, Punjab regained the advantage when Rana was dismissed by Sikandar Raza.

Andre Russell’s 35-run blitz off 19 balls, including three fours and two sixes, brought Kolkata back into the game, but his dismissal by Sam Curran in the 15th over all but sealed the match for Punjab. The game was ultimately cut short due to rain, with KKR falling 7 runs short of the DLS par score at 146/7.

Earlier in the match, Punjab Kings put up an impressive total of 191/5, thanks to a strong opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Prabhsimran Singh, who scored a quickfire 23. Bhanuka Rajapaksa then took center stage, using his aggressive batting to great effect and scoring 50 runs.

Despite Nitish Rana turning to Sunil Narine to try and slow down the run rate, Rajapaksa continued his onslaught, hitting two fours and a six off the spinner’s bowling. Punjab reached the 100-run mark halfway through their innings, with Rajapaksa scoring his maiden IPL half-century before being dismissed by Umesh Yadav.

Jitesh Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Sam Curran contributed valuable runs, with Sharma hitting 21 off 14 balls and Dhawan playing an anchoring role, scoring 40 off 29 balls. IPL debutant Sikandar Raza added a quick 16 off 13 balls, while Curran smashed 26 off 16 deliveries to take Punjab’s total to 191/5.

Punjab Kings’ strong batting and disciplined bowling proved to be the key to their thrilling 7-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in this rain-affected encounter.

Brief Scores: PBKS: 191/5 (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 50, Shikhar Dhawan 40, Tim Southee 2/54) vs KKR: 146/7 (Andre Russell 35, Nitish Rana 23, Arshdeep Singh 2/21).

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