Rajasthan Royals’ performance in the 2023 IPL season has been far from their best. After a promising start reminiscent of their runner-up finish in 2022, the team faltered in the second half, losing four out of their last five games.
Their chances of making it to the playoffs now hang by a thread. In a crucial battle for survival, Rajasthan Royals faced Punjab Kings in a do-or-die contest at Dharamsala on Friday. The outcome of this match would have a significant impact on the 2008 champions’ playoff hopes, although they also rely on other factors to go in their favor.
Amidst the serious cricketing affairs, a lighthearted moment during the match went viral on social media, with even the Rajasthan Royals joining in to take a playful jab at it. The incident involved the captaincy of Sanju Samson.
After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Samson was interviewed by presenter and former Zimbabwe cricketer Mpumelelo Mbangwa. Typically, during such one-on-one conversations, the names of the individuals involved are displayed on the screen.
However, in a broadcast blunder, instead of showing Samson’s name, it was erroneously labeled as “Yuzvendra Chahal, Rajasthan Royals captain.” The Rajasthan Royals later shared a tweet from a year ago, mocking the broadcasters for the mistake and captioning it with a witty remark directed at Star Sports India.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) May 19, 2023
Rajasthan Royals’ decision to bowl first proved fruitful as Trent Boult, making a comeback to the playing XI after being benched in the previous game, dismissed Prabhsimran Singh on the second ball of the innings.
Navdeep Saini, who was playing his first match of the season for RR, followed up with two crucial wickets, reducing Punjab to 50 for 4 in the seventh over.
Jitesh Sharma attempted to provide resistance with his quick-fire 44 off 28 deliveries, including three boundaries and three sixes. However, Saini managed to put an end to his onslaught in the 14th over.
A victory in this match could potentially propel Rajasthan Royals to the fourth spot in the points table, despite having the same number of points as Royal Challengers Bangalore (14). However, RR’s net run rate separates them from RCB, and the latter still has a game in hand while RR plays their final game on Friday.