Sunday, April 30’s Match 41 of the IPL 2023 saw Punjab Kings defeat Chennai Super Kings by four wickets in a nail-biting last-ball contest. Devon Conway’s magnificent 92* off 52 balls helped Chennai Super Kings, who had elected to bat first, record a whopping 200/4 on the board.
In response, Punjab was able to complete the total on the penultimate ball of the innings thanks to Sikandar Raza, who maintained composure and scored the final three runs that were required. In his three-over performance, Raza was unbeaten on 13* off seven balls and also recorded one for 31. After leading his side to a stunning victory, Raza spoke to the broadcasters and claimed that his squad won by running incredibly hard and that he had targeted the long boundary in order to run three.
“By sprinting incredibly hard, we won. I believe that Livingstone completely rewrote the rules for us, and we were never the same. Jitesh did what he could. I contributed as well and focused on the larger boundaries. tried to hit 4 and 6, but I was completely unsuccessful,” Raza added.
Liam Livingstone (40 off 24) tipped the scales in favor of his team after hitting 22 out of the 24 runs in the 16th over bowled by Tushar Deshpande. At one point, PBKS needed 82 runs off the final five overs. Sam Curran (29 off 20), Jitesh Sharma (21 off 10) and Sikandar Raza then contributed to their team’s fifth victory of the year with key cameos.
Sikandar speculated, “Maybe it was about retiring one of the guys.” Raza discusses drama before the championship game.
Raza claimed that the management intended to substitute a better runner for Shahrukh Khan for the final ball, adding to the drama from the tense last over. Raza reassured them that even if they were unable to locate a boundary, they would still proceed successfully.
“I was simply observing many lifted arms in the changing room. No clue. Perhaps it had to do with letting one of the guys go. I’m not sure. In the final over, we stated we were one boundary away from scoring a run a ball; if we can’t get that, we’ll run well,” Raza continued.
The CSK captain MS Dhoni sent the ball to Matheesha Pathirana with Punjab needing nine runs to win off the final six balls. Pathirana didn’t allow a boundary throughout the entire over, reducing the equation to three runs needed off the final ball. On the last pitch, Raza maintained composure and directed the ball to the large open area on the deep square leg, allowing him to run three.
With five victories from nine games as a result of their victory, Punjab moved up to position five in the IPL points standings, while Chennai kept up their position of fourth despite losing since they had a higher net run rate than Punjab.