Updated May 16th, 2024 at 15:37 IST

'Should've played him earlier': Sam Curran reveals how PBKS committed big mistake in IPL 2024

Sam Curran smashed an unbeaten 63 off his 41 balls to help PBKS chase down Rajasthan Royals' total in 18.5 overs as Punjab Kings got the much-needed victory.

Sam Curran was the standout bowler for PBKS. | Image:BCCI/IPL
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Punjab Kings defeated the in-form Rajasthan Royals by five wickets at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Wednesday, with the stand-in skipper Sam Curran delivering an all-round performance. After being asked to bat first, Punjab bowled well to restrict Royals to 144/9 in 20 overs. Curran picked up 2 wickets for just 24 runs in his 3 overs, while Harshal Patel and Rahul Chahar also picked up two wickets each as well.

Nathan Ellis, playing his first game this season, also contributed with the ball, getting the crucial wicket of Sanju Samson, and giving 24 runs in his four overs. Curran smashed an unbeaten 63 off his 41 balls to help his side chase down the total in 18.5 overs as Punjab managed to get the much-needed victory.

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Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Ellis spoke on the importance of the result and credited Punjab's bowling performance to set the tone for them. "Coming to the ground, we did not know whether we wanted to bat or bowl. We decided on batting first. So, losing the toss was not the desired outcome. I was really happy that we bowled first as it gave us a chance. It set the tone for the day," the Aussie international said.

Punjab Kings have not progressed to the playoffs but wish to finish off the season on a high note, and Ellis said that he is proud of the collective performance showcased by the team against Rajasthan.

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"We were playing for pride today and trying to put in the best performance we can. In the field, and with the ball today, collectively as a group, it was one of our better performances. We adapted to the conditions, and we bowled in partnerships. It was a complete performance," he said.

Ellis admitted that the wicket in Guwahati turned out to be slower than they were expecting it to be, but added that he still enjoyed playing on the surface. "The wicket was a little slower than expected. But it was a pretty good wicket all in all. It was a good crowd, and it was quite wet out there. Just really happy for the guys to get some rewards in what has been a challenging tournament," he said.

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Punjab lost early wickets in the chase, reeling at 48/4 in 7.6 overs at one stage of the match. But Curran and Jitesh Sharma stitched a 63-run partnership to bring their side back into the contest and won the game for their side. While praising Curran for his captain's knock, Ellis also credited Jitesh Sharma for his supporting role. 

"There was no crisis or panic. We always knew we just needed one 50-run partnership and the game was over. Sam and Jitesh Sharma did that really well. Sam, specifically, gives himself time and he played a really perfect knock today. A lot of credit goes to Jitesh. He set up shop, got himself in, and got some needed runs for us. His innings got us over the line as much as Sam's did," Ellis said.

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Meanwhile, Curran, who is set to leave for international duties, praised Ellis for his bowling performance and said that he did not need to take too many risks while being in the middle. "We bowled really well as a group. The message was that we had a lot of pride to play for. Ellis was absolutely amazing in his first game of the season. Probably should've played him earlier. When I went in, Jonny said it was quite tough. The pitch was holding a little bit. I didn't need to take too much risk. Knew on a ground like this, we just needed a couple of sixes," he signed off.

Punjab Kings will play their final game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, 19th May at 15:30 IST.

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Published May 16th, 2024 at 15:10 IST