Bhanuka Rajapaksa alights the stage with maiden IPL fifty

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Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings have locked horns at Mohali for the second game of the Indian Premier League. Winning the toss, KKR invited hosts Punjab to bat first. Punjab lost opener, Prabhsimran Singh, early in the second over. However, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who came one down, had other plans and put the KKR bowlers on backfoot.

Rajapaksa brings up his maiden fifty

Rajapaksa, who plays international cricket for Sri Lanka, was added to the Punjab Kings squad at the mega auction for the 2022 IPL auction. He showed a glimpse of a hard hitter in the last season but failed to make it big. Despite that, the Punjab team management stuck with him for the 2023 season and he made their investment fruitful in the first game of the season.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa is an aggressive batter by nature. Even though Punjab had lost an early wicket, he did not let that affect his game plan. He took all of KKR’s players for granted and continued his strokeplay. Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Shardul Thakur, and all other KKR bowlers were given the same treatment as Rajapaksa continued hitting sixes and fours.

The highlight of Rajapaksa’s innings was that he hit boundaries together. Once he had put the bowler under pressure, he would not stop there and continue to hit them for multiple boundaries in the same over. He brought up his fifty in just 30 balls with 5 fours and two sixes. This was Rajapaksa’s maiden fifty at the Indian Premier League.

Before this, Rajapaksa’s highest score at the IPL was 43, which had come on his debut against the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season. However, Rajapaksa could not carry his innings forward and was soon removed by Umesh Yadav. over long-on but was caught by Rinku Singh. Nonetheless, he set the tempo for Punjab’s innings as they are scoring at more than 10 runs an over.

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