Despite Jitesh Sharma's valiant effort, the rest of the Punjab Kings (PBKS) batters only have themselves to blame as they were beaten by the Delhi Capitals (DC) in a crucial IPL 2022 encounter by 17 runs.
The target of 160 looked below par on the pitch and PBKS got off to a great start. However, what followed was an incredible batting collapse, thanks to the DC spinners.
Till Jitesh was there at the crease, Punjab were in with a shout. However, Shardul Thakur picked up an excellent 4-for as PBKS ended up on 142/9. Fans on Twitter were shocked to see such a power-packed batting line-up throw their wickets away.
Some also trolled PBKS for once again collapsing when it mattered the most. Here are some of the reactions:
Shardul Thakur started the PBKS collapse
Punjab got off to a flying start once again, thanks to Jonny Bairstow. Although the Englishman couldn't last long, both Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa kept the momentum going for their IPL team.
At one point, PBKS were 53/1 and cruising towards the target. But this is when Shardul Thakur was introduced into the attack and the pacer delivered a game-changing over.
In a span of three deliveries, Thakur sent both the set batters back and put Punjab under immense pressure. Axar Patel ensured the pressure remained on the opposition from the other end as he sent back Mayank Agarwal for a duck.
Liam Livingstone had a great day with the ball and it looked like he was destined to play the match-winning knock. However, he charged down the track to smack Kuldeep Yadav out of the ground and got stumped.
Harpreet Brar was cleaned up by Kuldeep and it looked all over for Punjab when Rishi Dhawan was castled by Patel. But from 82/7, both Jitesh Sharma and Rahul Chahar began a fightback.
Jitesh kept the scoreboard ticking with the occasional boundary and also ensured that the required run rate was in check. 39 runs to win from 18 balls looked possible until Thakur returned to deliver the killer blow.
The pacer picked up the wickets of Jitesh and Kagiso Rabada in the same over and that proved to be the end of Punjab's chances. They will now need to win their next game by a big margin and hope other results go their way. DC, on the other hand, still have their fate in their own hands.
Catch the next match on the IPL timetable 2022 here.