Yashasvi Jaiswal is regarded highly at Rajasthan Royals. He is one of the three players it retained ahead of the mega auction, Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler being the others. That is elite company.
On Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium, the 20-year-old opener showed why the franchise has so much faith in him. His superb knock (68, 41b, 9×4, 2×6) led Royals’ chase of the challenging total put on by Punjab Kings.
Royals went past the Kings’ 189 for five with two balls to spare. If Jaiswal gave the start and carried the innings through the middle overs, the finish was provided by Shimron Hetmyer, who smashed an unbeaten 31 off 16 balls (3×4, 2×6).
Arshdeep Singh, that left-arm seamer who chokes them at the death, had ensured Kings was still in the game going into the final over. He had given away just three runs and had also taken the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal, who hit his full toss straight to Mayank Agarwal at extra cover after making 31 (32b, 3×4).
After the 18th over bowled by Kagiso Rabada had gone for 16, Kings needed a tight one from Arshdeep. He provided exactly that.
Eight were required in the final over from Rahul Chahar, who began with a wide. The issue was settled off the first legal delivery of the over, as Hetmyer hit him hard and handsomely over the long-on fence.
It was the first win chasing for Royals this season. The win is also significant because it wasn’t actually fashioned by Jos Buttler, who scored a 16-ball 30 (5×4, 1×6).
For a side that had been depending too much on the Orange Cap holder, the important runs from the other batters must be heartening. The team management must also be glad that it brought Jaiswal back; his last game was over a month ago. It truly was quality batting from the left-hander, who ensured that the asking rate was under control right through.
Earlier, Kings’ innings was built on two fine knocks at either end. Jonny Bairstow (56, 40b, 8×4, 1×6) scored his first fifty of this season, while Jitesh Sharma played a blinder at the death, knocking off 38 from 18 balls (4×4, 2×6).
Bairstow became one of Yuzvendra Chahal’s three victims, who strengthened his hold over the Purple Cap with a fine spell and helped his side move closer to the playoffs.