Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain Mayank Agarwal lauded Liam Livingstone's all-round effort against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday.
The English batter played a blazing knock, scoring 32-ball 60 runs, decorated with five boundaries and sixes each. Riding on Livingstone's knock, the Punjab franchise posted 180 runs, which was enough to seal them a convincing win in their IPL 2022 clash.
Praising Livingstone, Mayank Agarwal stated that it is breathtaking to see the 28-year-old bat. When asked what the message was to Livingstone, Mayank said at the post-match presentation ceremony:
"Nothing. Everyone holds their breath when he is batting. Some of the shots he hits are spectacular."
Livingstone also made telling contributions with the ball, picking up two wickets, including Shivam Dube and Dwayne Bravo.
Along with Livingstone, Rahul Chahar also picked up three wickets while debutant Vaibhav Arora chipped in with two wickets at the top. Mayank Agarwal revealed that the pacer was with them a couple of years back when they spotted his talent.
"Vaibhav was with us a couple of years back and we saw the talent. KKR picked him up, but we wanted him because he's something different," Agarwal continued.
The 24-year-old cricketer from Himachal Pradesh picked up the prized wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali. His key wickets sent Chennai on the back foot in the powerplay.
Mayank reckoned that the early wickets made the difference for them despite being a couple of runs short. He added:
"We were thinking we were 5-7 short, but we knew chasing 180 wasn't going to be easy, especially if we took wickets with the new ball and that's exactly what we did. Winning that part of the game won us the game."
Punjab Kings also dominated the middle part of the game. Livingstone and Rahul Chahar scalped wickets in consecutive overs to rout CSK out of the game. Eventually, the defending champions fell 54 runs short, resulting in three defeats on the trot.
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"Anil bhai had seen him when he was in MI" - Mayank Agarwal on Jitesh Sharma
Another debutant, Jitesh Sharma, also made a good all-round effort against CSK. He scored a crucial 26 runs in the middle-order before holding on to an outstanding catch, diving to his right to dismiss Ambati Rayudu.
The Madhya Pradesh-born cricketer also contributed to a DRS that led to MS Dhoni's dismissal. Mayank revealed that head coach Anil Kumble had first spotted Jitesh in Mumbai and wanted him here at Punjab.
"With Jitesh, Anil bhai had seen him when he was in MI. He said we've got to get this kid. He's got good intent. Standout thing about him is his attitude. You can see the hunger, you can see the want."
Punjab Kings now have two wins under their belt in three matches and are fourth in the IPL 2022 points table. CSK, meanwhile, have lost all three of their opening games.