Punjab Kings beat Gujarat Titans to boost playoff hopes

Punjab ride on Rabada’s four-for & Dhawan’s class to romp to 8-wkt win over table-topping TitansThe experienced Shikhar Dhawan may be out of the reckoning for India in the T20Is set-up but that hasn’t dimmed his will to make a comeback to the national team.


On Tuesday, he produced a composed display of responsible and aggressive batting in his unbeaten knock of 62 as Punjab Kings cantered to an easy eight-wicket win over Gujarat Titans at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday. Dhawan’s upper-cut off Alzarri Joseph to a ball aimed at his throat was the pick of his shots. He also took a special liking for state-mate Pradeep Sangwan, cutting him for three fours.

The win means Kings leapfrog to fifth place in the table with 10 points to stay in hunt for the playoffs while the five-match winning streak of Titans comes to an end. Dhawan and Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa put on a crucial 87 runs for the second wicket after the early departure of Jonny Bairstow off Mohammad Shami’s bowling for 1.

Livingstone lights it up

After Rajpaksa was trapped in front by Lockie Ferguson for 40, England batter Liam Livingstone came to the middle and smashed three sixes and two fours of a Shami over to help Kings triumph with four overs to spare. One of the sixes cleared the mid-wicket boundary and sailed as far as 117 metres.

Hardik experiment goes awry

Earlier, an experiment by Titans captain Hardik Pandya to set a target, the first by a captain after winning the toss in a day-night match in the current edition of IPL, seemed to backfire as the table-toppers were held to a below-par 143/8 by the Punjab Kings. Sai Sudharsan top scored with five boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 65-run innings. The Kings bowling was led by South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who returned figures of 4/36 and kept the scoring on a leash by banging his cutters into the pitch and depriving the batters the pace to time or hit the ball. While leg spinner Rahul Chahar’s finger injury meant he could not complete his full quota of overs, part-time spinner Livingstone played his role to perfection. For Titans, the usual solid start by Gill and Saha went missing.