Friday, Oct 07, 2022

IPL 2022 Points Table: Mayank Agarwal's Great Sacrifice For Punjab Kings And The Race For Playoff Spots

Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal relinquished his role as an opener and decided to bat at No.4. Punjab Kings are currently fifth in the IPL 2022 points table.

Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal looks on during their IPL 2022 game against Gujarat Titans.
Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal looks on during their IPL 2022 game against Gujarat Titans. IPL

Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal made a great sacrifice on Tuesday as he decided to relinquish his opener’s spot in the team during their win against table-toppers Gujarat Titans at the DY Patil Stadium to heat up the race for IPL 2022 playoffs.

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Mayank Agarwal, who had a very good outing for Punjab Kings for the past two years scoring 400-plus runs on both occasions, has been going through a rough patch with the bat in the ongoing edition. In nine matches so far, Mayank’s bat could accumulate only 161 runs with just a lone fifty.

“We are trying to get the best out of Jonny. He’s done well opening. I said, ‘It’s okay, I’ll bat at four, I'll anchor the innings at four’”, said Mayank Agarwal after Punjab Kings won my mammoth eight wickets against Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans.

Out of nine matches Mayank played, he opened the innings for Punjab Kings in seven games without much success. He opted out against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 17 with Shikhar Dhawan doing the captaincy duties. Bairstow also didn’t have much to show scoring just 80 in seven matches so far.  

Opting to bat first, Gujarat Titans suffered a rare batting failure as the top-placed team in the ongoing IPL 2022 could manage only 143/8, thanks to Kagiso Rabada’s four-fer. For Gujarat Titans, uncapped B Sai Sudharsan scored a career-best unbeaten 65 to take the team near 150-run mark.

In reply, PBKS were off to a disastrous start losing Jonny Bairstow for just one before Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa stitched a 87-run second-wicket stand to lay the platform for their fifth win in this edition. Liam Livingstone scored a quickfire 10-ball 30 to seal the deal.

“The partnership between Shikhar and Bhanu was crucial for us,” said Mayank Agarwal before stating the plan was to have Dhawan bat through the innings. “With Livi (Livingstone) it was clear, Shikhar to bat through and Livi could go out and play the way he wants to play,”       

“It was nice the way he played, got the score quickly. When we got to that position, two points are almost clear, if we can score it as quickly as possible, we could also improve the Net Run-Rate,” said Mayank.

Punjab Kings Break Into Top Five

With this win, Punjab Kings moved up to the fifth spot in IPL 2022 points table and also shot up their net run rate (NRR) after they won against Gujarat Titans with 24 balls to spare spicing up the heat in the middle of the points table. Punjab Kings are yet to win two games in a row this season.

Despite the loss, Gujarat Titans are still on top of the standings with 16 points followed by fellow debutants Lucknow Super Giants who are on 14 points from 10 games. With both newcomers are certain to reach the last four stage, unless any miracles happen, the fight for the remaining two spots will be between Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals.

The updated IPL 2022 points table after PBKS vs GT fixture.
The updated IPL 2022 points table after PBKS vs GT fixture. Outlook Screengrab

Qualification scenarios For CSK And RCB

RCB are sixth in the table with 10 points after suffering three back-to-back defeats and need to win at any cost against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday. A win against CSK will pull them back into the top four but will do little as far as their NRR is concerned unless they win by a huge margin.

Win in their remaining last four games will put RCB to 18 points and hope that other top teams also falter in some of their respective games so far to ensure the Faf du Plessis-led side a safe passage into the playoffs.

On the other hand, Chennai Super Kings returned back to winning ways after MS Dhoni returned at the helm midway through the tournament. With just three wins from nine games, CSK are languishing at ninth in the table and all but out of playoffs contention.

Even if they win their remaining five games, it would take them to 16 points putting the four-time champions on a thin line of qualifying for the final four.    


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