Skipper Shikhar Dhawan led from the front by scoring a magnificent unbeaten 86 as Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals by 5 runs in a thriller at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday.
After being asked to bat first by RR skipper, Punjab opening pair of Prabhsimran Singh and Shikhar Dhawan got their side off to fantastic start. The duo added 90 runs for the opening wicket before the former mistimed a pull off Jason Holder to Jos Buttler, who took a fantastic diving catch running from long off boundary.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (1) had to retire hurt after being struck on the right arm by a powerful drive from Dhawan.
Left hander Dhawan along with Jitesh Sharma featured in a 66 run stand for the second wicket before the latter perished to a low full toss off Yuzvendra Chahal to Riyan Parag at long off for 27.
Sikander Raza was then cleaned up by a brilliant delivery by Ravichandran Ashwin for 1. However some lusty hitting from Dhawan (86)* and Shahrukh Khan (11) towards the end propelled Punjab to 197/4 in their 20 overs.
Chasing 198, Rajasthan Royals sent Ravi Ashwin to open the innings in place of Jos Buttler, who walked off the field after sustaining a finger injury.
However Arshdeep Singh dismissed both Jaiswal and Ashwin for 11 & 0 respectively. Nathan Ellis then struck a body blow by dismissing the in form Buttler (19) who was unlucky, as he inside-edged a drive off Ellis onto his pads and was well caught off his own bowling.
The pair of Sanju Samson and Devdutt Padikkal put on 34 runs for the fourth wicket before the former perished to Ellis for a quickfire 25 ball-42.
The Royals lost wickets of Riyan Parag and Devdutt Padikkal leaving them in a spot of bother at 124/6.
However Shimron Hetmyer along with Dhruv Jurel brought Rajasthan back into the contest with a superb 62 run stand for the seventh wicket.
With 15 requiring off the final over, England all rounder Sam Curran held his nerve, as RR fell 5 run short of the target finishing at 192/7 in their 20 overs.
Ellis was adjudged the Player of the Match for his brilliant spell of 4/30.