Curran's all-round show for Punjab hands Rajasthan fourth straight loss in IPL

Sam Curran’s all-round show powered Punjab Kings to a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.

Rajasthan, which has already qualified for the playoffs, has lost four straight matches as it tries to hold on to second place.

The Royals got strangled at 144-9 on a slowish wicket and clearly missed their premier opening batter Jos Buttler, who returned to England for next week’s Twenty20 series Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Curran, who grabbed 2-24, made an unbeaten 63 off 41 — his second half-century of the season — and led Punjab to 145-5 in 18.5 overs. Punjab is out of contention for the playoffs has 10 points with one game in hand.

Curran made an early impact with his left-arm swing bowling when he had Yashasvi Jaiswal (4) dragging the ball back onto the stumps in the first over. Skipper Sanju Samson (18) completed 500 runs for the first time in his IPL career but struggled to give the innings momentum before he was caught at point in the eighth over.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore (18) had a below-par IPL debut as the Englishman couldn’t fill in the big shoes of Buttler as he holed out to long on after struggling for 23 balls.

Top-scorer Riyan Parag (48) and Ravichandran Ashwin (28) combined in a half-century stand but leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (2-26) and Harshal Patel (2-28) kept picking up wickets to restrict Rajasthan.

Rajasthan had a sniff when fast bowler Avesh Khan (2-28) struck twice in one over during the power play and Jonny Bairstow (14) left the team in tatters at 48-4 when he holed out in the deep in the eighth over.

But Curran and Jitesh Sharma put the chase back on track with 63-run stand as Curran raised his half-century off 38 balls before sealing the game with seven balls to spare when he smacked sixes against Sandeep Sharma and Khan.


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