IPL 2023 Match 8: RR Vs PBKS Key Highlights

In the first-ever IPL match held in Guwahati, Punjab Kings emerged victorious over hosts Rajasthan Royals with a thrilling five-run win. This marks PBKS' first back-to-back win in a season since IPL 2021. The nail-biting match saw half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Prabhsimran Singh, a four-wicket haul from Nathan Ellis, and a determined final over bowled by Sam Curran.

PBKS started strong, with Prabhsimran Singh showcasing his timing early on and leading his team to 63/0 at the end of the PowerPlay. Dhawan played his usual steady game, hitting 30 off 30 balls. However, once Prabhsimran was caught at long-off, Dhawan stepped up to the challenge and raised a half-century off 36 balls. His reverse-paddled six against Jason Holder stood out, and he eventually finished on 86* off 56 balls.

Yuzvendra Chahal, at the receiving end of PBKS' charge, finished with figures of 4-0-50-1. His only wicket came in the form of Jitesh Sharma in his final over, pushing him to second on the all-time list. However, his spin twin, Ravichandran Ashwin, had a much better night, returning figures of 4-0-25-1.

Ashwin surprised everyone by opening the innings instead of Jos Buttler. Buttler came to bat at No.3 after sustaining a minor injury while taking a catch in the deep. Ashwin's promotion backfired as he got out for a four-ball duck, but Sanju Samson's quick boundaries saved the day for RR.

Nathan Ellis was the star bowler of the night, finishing with figures of 4 for 30. He started with the wicket of Buttler in his first over and continued to add the wickets of Sanju Samson, Riyan Parag, and Devdutt Padikkal in the subsequent ones. Padikkal's innings of 26 off 21 meant that RR lost all steam in the middle overs.

It looked like PBKS would cruise to victory until Shimron Hetmyer and Dhruv Jurel counterattacked and added quickfire 62 runs off only 27 balls. The match came down to needing 16 runs in the final over, but Sam Curran held his nerve under pressure and conceded only three runs off the first two balls. The pressure got to Hetmyer, who was run out, and once he walked back, RR's chances of winning were slim.

In the end, PBKS emerged victorious, finishing on 197/4, while RR managed 192/7. Jason Holder was among RR's best bowlers, finishing with figures of 2-29. Despite RR's valiant effort, PBKS sealed a thrilling victory, marking their second consecutive win of the season.