The Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) move to send Jitesh Sharma ahead of the in-form Liam Livingstone against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) raised quite a few eyebrows. However, the wicketkeeper-batter repaid the faith shown in him, playing a fine cameo of 38*(18) to help PBKS post a challenging total of 189/5 in their 20 overs.
Earlier in the innings, Jonny Bairstow finally came good in his natural position at the top of the order, scoring 56. He received able support from Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who managed 27. However, wickets in the middle overs brought RR back in the game.
Just as the Royals began applying the breaks, Jitesh Sharma dashed their hopes of restricting PBKS to a below-par total with his brilliant knock.
Fans on Twitter hailed the 28-year-old for making the most of his opportunities. Here are some of the reactions:
Excellent innings by Livingstone. Loved him trying to access different areas of the ground. And Prasidh responded brilliantly by pushing the wide rules.Yet for all of Liam’s pyrotechnics, Jitesh Sharma’s innings is even better.High quality cricket in last 5 overs!
Jitesh Sharma in He has hit 14 fours and 9 sixes from 97 balls.
Jitesh Sharma has been super impressive, he is doing such a difficult role without any International experience when many International players has failed to perform in this role.
Yousuf Pathan vibes in those shots over off side from Jitesh Sharma.
Jitesh Sharma in this IPL 2022 so far – 7 Innings, 162 runs, 32.40 average, 167.01 strike rate.
Livingstone’s star presence might have overshadowed Jitesh Sharma .. But he’s regularly chipped in with some top cameos .. Eventually these are the runs which decide the result
Jitesh Sharma was unsold from 2018-21Analysts log kya karte h pata nahiIt’s important ex players and all participate and attend selection drills and handpick players from vibes and eye test itself
Jitesh sharma would’ve earned more fans if he has played for any other franchise than pbks!
Jitesh Sharma has got the wrist snap at the point of contact that Buttler, Glenn Phillips, Livingstone etc. have got.Of course, not muscular like them, but wrist snap generates enough power for him.
How can you not love these players like Jitesh Sharma lovely intent
Jitesh Sharma has been, by a million miles, the bargain of the 2022 auction
Jitesh Sharma in the IPL so far :Innings – 7Runs – 162Avg – 32SR – 167Kind of returns you’d expect from your OS stars but you’re getting them from a local player. And he mostly bats in top order for Vidarbha doing amongst the hardest role in IPL.
Jitesh Sharma has made sure that overrated SRK gets released next year . 10 cr was always gonna too high for someone with just backing of domestic performances .
Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma power PBKS to 189/5
With Mayank Agarwal demoting himself down the order, the idea seemed to be to let Bairstow play freely at the top. Although it didn’t work out well in the last game, the English star made full use of the powerplay restrictions this time around.
Shikhar Dhawan struggled to time the ball at the other and was dismissed cheaply. However, Bairstow was then joined by Rajapaksa and the duo steadied Punjab’s innings. The opener brought up an important half-century and Rajapaksa also played a handy cameo before being dismissed.
But RR pulled things back, with Yuzvendra Chahal once again being the pick of the bowlers with three scalps to his name. Liam Livingstone played a few good shots during his 22-run knock, but it was Jitesh Sharma who dominated the RR bowlers.
Sharma almost found boundaries at will to give Punjab some much-needed impetus in the death overs. PBKS will be happy having set a target of 190 in a day game. They would have hoped to pick up early wickets and expose RR’s lack of depth in batting to give themselves a good chance of winning the game.