Punjab Kings began the IPL 2023 defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 7 runs via the DLS method at PCA Stadium, Mohali on 1 April. Kolkata Knight Riders newly appointed captain Nitish Rana won the toss and decided to field first. Prabhsimran Singh showed intent right from word go putting pressure on Tim Southee. Southee took his revenge by dismissing Singh in the same over.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa looked in sublime touch putting pressure on KKR bowlers, especially Sunil Narine. The Sri Lankan batter smashed four boundaries in the two overs he faced including 3 fours and 1 six to keep the momentum going.
Rajapaksa kept the momentum going for Punjab Kings with aggressive intent against KKR bowlers. At the end of the first six overs, Punjab Kings made 56 for 1. After the field restrictions, Rajapaksa continued his aggressive intent along with Dhawan. The Sri Lankan hard hitter batter completed his half-century off 30 deliveries.
MS Dhoni struggled against Sunil Narine hitting only 3 boundaries throughout his international career including 1 ODI and 2 T20Is. Dhoni smashed all fours against the West Indies bowler.
Rajapaksa’s innings came to an end trying to increase the scoring rate but he was caught by Rana at long-on. Rajapaksa and Dhawan added 86 runs for the 2nd wicket. Jitesh Sharma, Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran, and Shahrukh Khan provided some quickfire cameos to help Punjab Kings post 191 for 5 in 20 overs.
Punjab Kings bowlers did a superb job
It was an ideal start for Punjab King’s side as Arshdeep Singh grabbed the wickets of Mandeep Singh and Anukul Roy in the same over to put KKR on the backfoot. Rahmanullah Gurbaz looked impressive but was castled by Nathan Ellis leaving them under pressure. Nitish Rana and impact player Venetaksh Iyer showed some intent. At the end of the first six overs, KKR scored 46 for 3.
After the timeout, Sikandar Raza got his maiden IPL wicket getting rid of KKR captain Nitish Rana. Rana and Venetaksh Iyer added 46 runs to stall the progress. Rahul Chahar dismissed Rinku Singh leaving KKR in big trouble. Andre Russell provided some hope with his attacking shot play before Sam Curran got rid of him. Russell and Iyer added 50 runs for the 6th wicket.
Soon after, Iyer fell as rain arrived with the scoreboard reading 146 for 7 in 16 overs. The match was called off after the rain did not stop as Punjab Kings registered their first win of IPL 2023. For his 3 for 19 in 3 overs, Arshdeep Singh was named player of the match.
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