The Shashank Redemption: PBKS's accidental auction buy turns hero in 200 chase vs GT

IPL 2024, GT vs PBKS: Shashank Singh emerged Punjab's unlikely hero in their 3-wicket win over GT in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Shashank was initially 'an accidental buy' for PBKS but now he has proved to be a true match-winner.
The Shashank Redemption: PBKS's accidental auction buy turns hero in 200 chase vs GT
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Punjab Kings found an unlikely hero in the form of Shashank Singh, who was once considered an accidental buy for PBKS in the IPL 2024 auction. The 32-year-old played a match-winning knock under pressure against Gujarat in the group clash in Ahmedabad. Shashank Singh single-handedly came up with an exceptional show of batting to revive his side's innings with his power-hitting after a flurry of wickets fell in the middle overs. Taking on every bowler, he remained unbeaten at 61 off 29 balls, securing an unlikely win for Punjab away from home. In the final three overs, Shashank was joined by Ashutosh Sharma, and together they played a blinder of an innings, propelling Punjab into a winning position.

200 were needed for the win and their talismanic skipper Shikhar Dhawan fell early. Jonny Bairstow and Prabhsimran Singh then took the attack to the opposition but neither could convert it into a big score. Punjab were in all sorts of trouble at 70/4 inside 9 overs and went on to lose another wicket inside 13 overs. Shashank Singh then started to fire and had Jitesh Sharma for company, but the latter and the more experienced batter got out just when he started to fire. Then came the Impact Player in the form of Ashutosh Sharma and to hold this substitution for such a long while turned out to be the telling factor. Singh launched an onslaught and went on to score his maiden Fifty and with the game almost in the bag, Ashutosh got out off the first delivery of the final over after a stunning cameo, testing the nerves of the team. With 5 needed, Singh got that deserved slice of luck as the ball went flying off the outside edge and they were able to seal the deal on the next delivery.

Shashank Singh, a name that resonated throughout the stands of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, emerged as the new hero for Punjab (PBKS) in their thrilling encounter against Gujarat Titans (GT) during the IPL 2024 season.

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The Shashank Redemption: PBKS's accidental auction buy turns hero in 200 chase vs GT

When Punjab Kings bid for Shashank Singh, a 32-year-old all-rounder from Chhattisgarh, during the mini-auction, there was some confusion. The player's name was called out for bidding, and Punjab Kings raised the paddle for him. However, after he was sold for his starting bid of Rs 20 lakh, Punjab Kings co-owners Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia appeared to speak with auctioneer Malika Sagar. Soon after the confusion on television screens, rumours circulated that the Punjab Kings did not want to buy the player, but had to settle for him after he was sold during the auction. Shashank was eventually bought for his starting price of Rs 20 lakh. Shashank had previously been part of the Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad before joining PBKS.

Shashank has been around the IPL and his early stint was with the now-defunct Pune Warriors India in 2011.

"Shashank Singh was with me in Pune Warriors India in 2011 and then kind of quietly did his time in the IPL. He was in a lot of franchises and never got the opportunity. He is a very quiet kid, someone, who quietly works in the background, soft spoken an absolute gentleman. Tried to apply his trade in Mumbai, but didn't make it there. or didn't get much of an opportunity because it's not a boisterous kind of out-there kind of youngster, um, but always had the talent going to Pondicherry. It didn't work out there. So it's kind of been around the block and he's kinda bided his time and got his due," Robin Uthappa, Shashank's former teammate at PWI, told JioCinema on Thursday,

However, this perception was quickly dispelled as he proved to be a match-winner for his team. 32 years old Shashank brought his experience and skill to the forefront in a crucial match against GT. With an unbeaten knock of 61 runs off just 29 balls, he steered PBKS to a nail-biting 3-wicket victory, snatching the win from the jaws of defeat. Before this heroic innings, Shashank had already made a mark in domestic cricket playing for Chhattisgarh, and his performances in the List A and T20 formats speak volumes of his capabilities. With a batting average that commands respect and a strike rate that warns bowlers, Shashank's role as a batting all-rounder has been pivotal in the teams he has represented.

Source: India Today

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