Punjab Kings on Monday started off their campaign with an exhilarating win against Rajasthan Royals, after a superbly close death over chase saw the latter stopping just four runs short of the target.

The Rajasthan Royals attempted to chase down a score of 222 in 20 overs, and almost did it too. Banking on the superb 119-run innings by captain Sanju Samson, who stopped just a step short of the mark as his sky-high shot was ultimately caught by Deepak Hooda, the RR team total grinded to a screeching halt at 217/7, four runs short of the 222-run target.

  • No, it doesn't go through. Samson flings it across, but misses, and is caught at the last moment. Punjab Kings have managed to seal the deal.
  • Samson turns down a single in the second last ball. 5 needed from one ball.
  • 13 needed from six deliveries in last overs. Tension has reached its maximum point.
  • Three sixes in an over. This could be a defining one, as the RR-duo manage to acquire 20 valuable runs, sending Murugan Ashwin continuously over the ropes.
  • Samson is relentless in his approach. Joined after Buttler by Riyan Parag who picked up pace right after coming onto crease, the two have started thrashing the PBKS bowling attack. After 15 overs, the scorecard is currently 154/4.
  • 10 overs on, Rajasthan Royals stand at a score of 95 for the loss of three wickets. 
  • Joss Buttler is beaten by Richardson through a devious delivery. The RR batsman leaves for a score of 25.
  • Rajasthan Royals openers Vohra and Stokes both have now been dismissed within four overs. With Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler leading the fight for RR right now, the match is wide open at the moment.
  • Out! but with visible confusion, as Stoke shoots up a Mohammad Shami delivery, and KL Rahul manages to hold onto it somehow amidst a jostle of himself, Shami and Deepak Hooda.
  • The Punjab Kings innings comes to an end at a score of 221 for the loss of six wickets.
  • After 18 overs, PBKS stand at a score of 201/4. 
  • Dropped! After a fiery over for Punjab Kings, as Deepak Hooda smashes Shivam Dube away for a total of three sixes in an over, the 14th over sees Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes having a miscommunication, and the former dropping Hooda at 39.
  • KL Rahul brings up his half century off 31 balls, smashing a delivery from 
  • Out! brilliant use of the low flight by Parag, as Chris Gayle returns to the pavilion with a score of 40 runs.
  • Gayle starts hammering away. The Caribbean power hitter stands at 39* (26) at the end of nine overs, slowly increasing pressure on the gas pedal and aiming at big shots.
  • At the end of six overs, Punjab Kings stand at 46/1, with Chris Gayle accompanying KL Rahul at the end of the powerplay.<br>
  • Out! Mayank Agarwal leaves for 14 off 9 balls, as Chetan Sakariya picks up his first IPL wicket.
  • Early firecrackers from the opening pair, as young seamer Chetan Sakariya is hit for a boundary each in the opening over by both Agarwal and Rahul.
  • KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal start off the innings for Punjab Kings. Chetan Sakariya, on the other hand, opened the bowling attack for Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals brought most of their key foreign recruits to play, as the playing XI included Ben Stokes, Jos Butler and Chris Morris, a undoubtedly balanced batting-bowling combination.

Also read: 'Almost underarm': Riyan Parag's bowling action makes commentators chuckle

Winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson chose to bowl first against Punjab Kings.

Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) took each other on in the fourth match of IPL 2021 in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on Monday. The match, season opener for both sides, saw PBKS narrowly win and progress ahead.

Punjab Kings entered the competition with a new name as well as a majorly revamped squad. Buying a total of nine new players earlier in this year's auction, the Punjab-based franchise banked on new bowling recruits such as Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, as well as experienced all-rounders like Moises Henrique to make a mark. 

Also read: Jofra Archer's injury a 'big blow', hope he will be back soon: Rajasthan Royals director

Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, rolled into the season under the leadership of Sanju Samson, who took on the reins from Steve Smith after IPL 2020. While having renowned bats such as Jos Buttler and Samson himself, new bowlers such as Chris Morris, Ben Stokes and Mustafizur Rahman played their roles in filling the void left by the absence of fast bowler Jofra Archer.

Head-to-head, Punjab Kings, which was previously Kings XI Punjab, lag behind in terms of total number of wins, with the Royals so far having scored 12 wins, compared to nine by the Punjab-based franchise among a total of 21 matches.