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SRH vs PBKS: “Nice game without overseas players”

Punjab Kings under the leadership of Jitesh Sharma played their final match of the Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024) against Pat Cummins-led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday, May 19, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Batting first in the match, Punjab Kings’ top-order showcased a batting masterclass. Prabhsimran Singh smashed a brilliant 71 runs while Rilee Rossouw (49) and Atharva Taide (46) also made great contributions. In the end, Jitesh Sharma came up with a brilliant cameo of 32 runs to help his team post a big total of 214/5 on the board.

With the ball, Arshdeep Singh cleaned up Travis Head on the first ball, but Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi played counterattack knocks to put PBKS under pressure. After that, PBKS bowlers kept bowling poor lines and lengths and allowed SRH to chase down the target in 19.1 overs. 

After the match, Jitesh Sharma came out to speak to the commentators with a big smile on his face. Jitesh Sharma said that he enjoyed his captaincy debut and lauded his players for showing a great fight in the match.

Jitesh Sharma also said that they played a nice game despite the absence of many overseas cricketers from the playing XI. Jitesh Sharma elaborated:

“It was fun out there. The boys fought really hard and we enjoyed a lot. Nice game without the overseas players. The discussion won’t help till you imply on the ground. We have to play according to the wicket and plan accordingly.”

Meanwhile, with the 4-wicket loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings finished their IPL campaign on a low yet another time. They finished at the ninth spot on the 10-team points table, only above Mumbai Indians. In IPL 2024, PBKS won just 5 out of 14 games and had a poor Net Run Rate of -0.353.

Why Jitesh Sharma Led Punjab Kings In Their Final IPL 2024 Match 

Punjab Kings fielded a depleted side with only one foreigner – Rilee Rossouw – against Sunrisers Hyderabad because plenty of players were unavailable for selection. 6 overseas players of the team, including Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow, Sikandar Raza, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Woakes were either absent due to injury or their international commitments.

Among those misses, the biggest one was Sam Curran, who was leading the team in the ongoing edition of the league for over a month in the absence of original skipper Shikhar Dhawan. The veteran left-handed batsman suffered a shoulder injury while fielding during the match against the Pat Cummins-led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on April 9 at Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, Chandigarh. It was expected that Dhawan would return to the team for their last two league fixtures, but it didn’t happen.

As both Dhawan and Sam Curran were declared unavailable, the Punjab Kings management handed the captaincy to star wicketkeeper-batsman Jitesh Sharma, who also attended the captains’ photoshoot before the start of the tournament. 

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