IPL 2021: Kartik Tyagi seals Dubai heist as Rajasthan Royals stun Punjab Kings

Young fast bowler defends four runs in last over as Punjab implode at the finish line

Kartik Tyagi delivered a nerveless final over as Rajasthan Royals stole victory from Punjab Kings, on a night when their young charges stood up to be counted in Dubai.

How victory was achieved was remarkable to witness. Punjab had been cruising to their victory target of 186, after their openers Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul razed the youthful Rajasthan attack.

The two India players made 120 between them within 12 overs. Although they departed soon after each other, Punjab were still set for victory.

With Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram at the wicket they needed just eight off the last two overs, and then four off the last.

Tyagi, the 20-year-old seamer, then sent down five dot balls in the final over, dismissed Pooran and Deepak Hooda in the process, prompting frenzied celebrations from his team as Rajasthan won by two runs.

The Royals arrived in the UAE for the resumption of this Indian Premier League campaign without almost all their household names.

Jofra Archer, the player of the series last year here, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are all absent.

In their absence, some of the franchise’s young charges look intent on making names of themselves.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, 19, had a nightmare time on his last IPL tour of duty in the Emirates, despite arriving with an impressive reputation from age-group cricket.

He quickly went about attempting to right the wrongs of 2020 this time around. He shared in a 54-run opening stand in the power play with new recruit Evin Lewis, only to later perish one run short of his first IPL half-century.

While Jaiswal’s credentials were well known from Under 19 cricket, Mahipal Lomror is less vaunted.

And yet the left-hander stole the show with his hitting in the middle of the Rajasthan innings.

The 21-year-old batsman has played just eight IPL games since first being recruited to Delhi Daredevils in 2018, and none previously for Rajasthan this season.

Fans were left asking where he had been all this time, though, as he blazed 43 off 17 balls.

New balls had to be delivered out to the wicket four times – including twice in two balls off debuting England spinner Adil Rashid – as Lomror kept smoking them over the LED display screens, and into the uninhabited lower tier stands.

His departure, though, stalled Rajasthan’s push. He was one of Arshdeep Singh's five victims, as Punjab took seven wickets in the last 36 balls of the innings, conceding just 49 runs in the process.

Pursuing 186 to win looked to be an easy task for Punjab, especially once Agarwal, who made 67 in 43 balls, and captain Rahul had put on a dominant first-wicket alliance.

Rahul, fell one short of 50, after Rajasthan finally held on to a catch off Punjab’s captain – having previously dropped three.

How they managed to contrive to lose from that position was stunning.

“It is a tough one to swallow that you haven't learnt from your previous mistakes,” Rahul said.

“We need to see how we can handle pressure better.”

Updated: September 21st 2021, 6:32 PM