‘Hats off to them’: Dhawan hails Shashank, Ashutosh late heroic effort

NEW DELHI: Punjab Kings heroes from the last game Shashank Singh (46 off 25) and Ashutosh Sharma (33 off 15) nearly pulled it off again for their team but fell short by just two runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2024 match in Mullanpur on Tuesday.
With 67 runs required off the last four overs, SRH appeared to be in a commanding position. However, Shashank and Ashutosh refused to go down without a fight.Shashank took charge by smashing three boundaries in an over off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while his partner Ashutosh followed suit with consecutive fours off Pat Cummins.

As the match entered its decisive phase with 39 runs needed off the final two overs, T Natarajan, the left-arm pacer, conceded a couple of boundaries but managed to control the damage by delivering precise yorkers, giving away only 10 runs in the penultimate over.

The climax of the match unfolded in the last over bowled by Jaydev Unadkat, which proved to be eventful. It witnessed a series of dropped catches, including two that were unfortunately palmed over the ropes, along with three wides and three sixes.
Unadkat bowled the most expensive 20th over ever while defending the total as he conceded 26 runs.
Hailing the duo’s fighting spirit, PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan said their unbeaten 66-run stand off just 27 balls reignited their hopes of clinching victory in the match.
“It is great to see those youngsters coming in and chipping in. We are going to bounce back from this loss. There was always the hope that they could finish the game. Hats off to them that they brought it this close. Gives us confidence and hope for the next game. We have to do better in certain areas and improve,” Dhawan said at the post-match presentation.
Dhawan emphasized that the first six overs of the Punjab innings were the turning point, leading to their loss in the match. He further stated that their failure as a batting unit was evident.
“I feel that we kept them to a good total. Unfortunately, we could not cash in on the first six overs and that is where we lost the game. That pinched us hard. The wicket was not offering that much bounce so every individual has to come up with better plans.
Because we got out…of course we would want to change our strokes. I feel that at the end, we dropped that catch on the last ball. We could have stopped 10-15 runs more and that made a difference as well. As a batting unit, we did not perform.”

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