PBKS stand-in captain Sam Curran, and Liam Livingstone IPL 2024.
PBKS stand-in captain Sam Curran, and Liam Livingstone IPL 2024. Image Credit: X

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The stand-in captain of the Punjab Kings (PBKS) Sam Curran led the team to their fifth win in 13 games of the 17th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The left-handed batter, along with Jonny Bairstow, will fly back home and miss Punjab’s last league game due to national duties.

The opponents of the evening, Rajasthan Royals could reach 144/9 in their 20 overs, as they struggled consistently throughout the innings. Punjab were under pressure losing four wickets inside eight overs for under 50 runs, but Sam Curran remained unbeaten on 63 runs in 41 balls to carry his team over the line.

The seam-bowling all-rounder also contributed with the ball, returning with figures of 2/24 in his three overs.

‘Sam Curran played a captain’s knock’- Aakash Chopra

Sam Curran ended the IPL 2024 season with 270 runs in 13 innings at an average of 27 and a very low strike rate of 123.29 with the could of fifties, both of which came at two poles of their campaign. In the bowling department, he picked up 16 wickets but at a very high economy of 10.15.

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Former India batter, Aakash Chopra praised the all-rounder’s performance in a video that he shared on his YouTube channel.

‘In the run chase, Prabhsimran Singh got out in the first over for sure. Then Jonny Bairstow also got out. Rilee Rossouw too got out but Jitesh Sharma played a good knock and Sam Curran played a captain’s knock.’ Aakash Chopra expressed in a video. ‘It was a Player of the Match performance from Sam Curran. It was his last match of this season. He is leaving after this.’

Coming at a vital stage of the game, the England player resected the conditions and the bowling performances, before nailing them in all pockets of the ground while he got set in the middle.

‘However, while leaving, he left behind an innings and wickets so that you remember him in next year’s big auction. It will be all money when the auction happens.’ Chopra remarked in the video. ‘For that, you need to put in some good performances, and performances right at the end matter a little more because they remain in your mind.’

Punjab would love to avoid the bottom of the points and look to end on high with a win.

‘What were Punjab Playing for’- Aakash Chopra

The batting did a sensible job, but it was the bowlers who made life easy for them. Restricting a team like the Rajasthan Royals for less than 150 runs in the 20 overs is never an easy job, but Nathan Ellis (1/24), Harshal Patel (2/28) and Rahul Chahar (2/26) did a great job.

‘Sam Curran bowled decently. Nathan Ellis played here. Rahul Chahar picked up two wickets. He dismissed both overseas batters.’ The former India opener said. ‘Overall, Punjab tightened the screws. What were Punjab playing for?

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Harshal Patel is currently the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 22 scalps, and Arshdeep Singh’s vital comeback with 1/31 in four overs relieved the Indian fans a little.

‘Let’s be honest, they also know that they can’t progress but it’s necessary to win every match because the fans love you.’ The renowned commentator stated. ‘Once they become your fans, no matter how many times you break their hearts, their hearts are with you. So that is the situation and there they put their best foot forward.’

Punjab Kings will take on the hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their last league game on May 19 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.