Yashaswi Jaiswal of Rajasthan Royals playing a shot during match 52 of the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 7, 2022
Yashaswi Jaiswal of Rajasthan Royals playing a shot during match 52 of the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 7, 2022Rahul Gulati/IPL

IPL 2022: Jaiswal's 68, Hetmyer's finishing exploits help Rajasthan defeat Punjab by six wickets

Mumbai, May 7, 2022

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal marked his return to Rajasthan Royals' playing eleven with a scintillating 68 while Shimron Hetmyer exhibited his finishing exploits in an unbeaten 31 to help the side defeat Punjab Kings by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

After Jonny Bairstow's 58 and Jitesh Sharma's unbeaten 38 took Punjab to 189/5, Jaiswal shone in his comeback match of the tournament.

Despite Devdutt Padikkal struggling to get going, Hetmyer ensured that Rajasthan chased down the total to successfully break their two-match losing streak and keep themselves in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs.

Jaiswal began by slamming two fours through cuts in the off-side and a glorious picked-up six over deep square leg. Jos Buttler joined the attacking party in the fourth over, launching Kagiso Rabada for a six over deep midwicket. He followed it up with three fours -- carving one through extra cover, a lap-pull over short fine leg while in air and smoked through cover. But Rabada had the last laugh, having an over-improvising Buttler caught at short third man.

Sanju Samson took over the attacking mantle after Buttler's fall, finding luck in getting fours through edges twice while nailing other boundaries with sheer timing through point and cover. But his stay at the crease ended when he miscued to long-off off Rishi Dhawan.

Jaiswal, meanwhile, continued with his charge, heaving a four over Sandeep Sharma's head and produced a stunning inside-out lofted six over extra cover off Rahul Chahar. Sharma came under from Jaiswal again when he carted back-to-back fours -- slapping over long-off and playing a silken late cut through third man.

Jaiswal reached his maiden fifty of the tournament in 33 balls. He then followed it up with three fours off Dhawan in the 13th over -- a smack over long-on, scoop flying over short third man and nailing drive past cover. After taking another four through reverse sweep off Chahar, Jaiswal tried to take over Arshdeep Singh but holed out to long-off, breaking the 56-run stand.

With 47 runs needed off the last five overs, Shimron Hetmyer clipped Rabada through fine leg and cracked successive boundaries in the arc between mid-wicket and long-on. Hetmyer and Padikkal took four and six respectively off Rabada to make the equation really easy for Rajasthan.

Arshdeep nailed his yorkers in a top-class 19th over and got Padikkal out with a low full toss chipped to cover. Hetmyer dispatched Chahar for a six over wide long-on and finished off the chase with a single in the same region to seal Rajasthan's first win of the tournament in a chase.

Earlier, Jonny Bairstow scored his maiden fifty of IPL 2022 while Jitesh Sharma produced finishing fireworks to propel Punjab Kings to a brilliant 189/5 in their 20 overs.

Bairstow made the chance of opening the batting again count with a 40-ball 56, his highest score of the tournament. Sharma, on the other hand, justified his promotion ahead of Liam Livingstone with an unbeaten 18-ball 38 and a 50-run stand with the Englishman.

For Rajasthan, Yuzvendra Chahal picked 3/28 while Ravichandran Ashwin and Prasidh Krishna had a wicket apiece.

Bairstow began his innings by taking two fours through leg-side off Trent Boult in the opening over. He took a special liking to uncapped speedster Kuldeep Sen, taking him for successive fours through point and mid-wicket. After he bowled a maiden in his second over of the day, Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan took 18 runs off his third over.

Dhawan got a four by dancing down the pitch to pull through backward square leg while Bairstow had a streaky four -- an edge on pull going past the keeper and ending the over with a lovely picked-up six over deep square leg. It took a stunning one-handed leaping catch from Jos Buttler at mid-on to send Dhawan back in the final over of power-play off Ashwin.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa gave Bairstow good support, welcoming Chahal with a clean six over cow corner and followed it up with another six over long-off. Bairstow showed his off-side finesse with a reverse sweep off Ashwin and cutting Sen through backward point for fours.

After hitting Krishna for back-to-back fours, Rajapaksa tried to loft again against Chahal. But the leg-spinner had the last laugh by disturbing his leg-stump.

Mayank Agarwal looked set to go big with back-to-back fours off Ashwin but holed out to long-on off Chahal. Two balls later, Bairstow, who had reached his fifty with a lofted drive off Boult, was trapped lbw by the leg-spinner after missing a low flick.

Livingstone teed off with a huge six down the ground off Ashwin while Sharma crunched consecutive fours off Krishna. The duo then stole a six each off Chahal and Krishna with Livingstone taking four more off the latter.

Krishna finally had Livingstone out with a yorker hitting the base of off-stump. Sharma applied the finishing touch on Punjab's innings, smashing a six over mid-wicket followed by fours over mid-off and extra cover as 67 runs came off the last five overs.

Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 189/5 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 56, Jitesh Sharma 38 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 3/28, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/32) lost to Rajasthan Royals 190/4 in 19.4 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 68, Shimron Hetmyer 31 not out; Arshdeep Singh 2/29, Rishi Dhawan 1/25)

IANS

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