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MI vs PBKS: Curran heaps praise on Arshdeep, Ellis after Punjab win thriller


Punjab Kings (PBKS) stand-in skipper Sam Curran felt he didn’t deserve the Player of the Match award after leading his side to victory in a high-scoring thriller against Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2023 on Saturday.

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The England all-rounder, leading Punjab in placed of the injured Shikhar Dhawan, smashed a whirlwind 59 off just 26 deliveries and forged a game-changing 92-run partnership with Harpreet Bhatia (41 off 28) as Punjab Kings recovered from a mini-collapse in the middle overs to post a massive 214/8 on the board after being invited to bat by MI.

Had it not been for Arshdeep Singh’s death-bowling heroics though, Curran and the rest of the Punjab middle-order’s spirited fightback might have gone in vain. The left-arm pacer collected three wickets for just 11 runs in the last two overs to finish with a haul of 4/29 as Mumbai ultimately fell 13 runs short despite blazing fifties from Cameron Green (67) and Suryakumar Yadav (57).

“Don’t think I should be getting the award, with the way our pacers finished the match, Arshdeep and Nathan (Ellis) were incredible and the spinners bowled well,” Curran said in the post-match presentation ceremony, also praising Nathan Ellis after the Australian pacer bagged the wicket of a well-set Green.

Left-arm seamer Arshdeep, who has been a relevation for India as well as for Punjab Kings in the powerplay as well as death overs, revealed shortening his run-up to death with the recurrent no-ball problem while adding that he had managed to keep his nerves under check during the tense finish.

“Right now I feel even happier as the team won. I have shortened my run-up as it helped me with the no-ball problem and I am enjoying my cricket at the moment.

“Calmness comes naturally, my heart rate doesn’t even go up to 120,” the 24-year-old said in the post-match chat with the broadcasters.

Mumbai skipper Rohit, who contributed to his team’s fight with the bat with a 27-ball 44, lavished praise on Green and SKY for their explosive partnership that kept the home team in the hunt till the business end while admitting that it simply wasn’t their day.

“We had some errors in the field but not gonna look too much into that. Will tell the boys to keep our heads high, we’ve won and lost three. Lots of time left in the tournament, we need to stay in the game and competition.

“Quite happy with Green and SKY’s batting, they kept us in the game till the end. Credit to Arshdeep for his bowling, not our day today but we gave a good fight,” the ‘Hitman’ said after the match.

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