IPL 2024: Punjab Kings’ ‘accidental player’ Shashank Singh saves team with match-winning knock vs Gujarat Titans

Termed an ‘accidental bid’ on national television, Punjab Kings’ batter Shashank Singh emerged as the hero in the team’s three-wicket win over Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

PBKS batter Shashank Singh. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal
Punjab Kings batter Shashank Singh. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal

Chasing a massive target of 200 set by Gujarat Titans, Punjab Kings were reeling at 70/4 in 8.4 overs. Shashank Singh walked out to bat at No.5 and stitched crucial partnerships with Shikandar Raza and Ashutosh Sharma, to help the visitors chase down the target with one ball to spare in the final over of the match.

Shashank Singh played a valiant knock of 61 off 29 balls, including six boundaries and four maximums, at a strike rate of 210.34, to take the team past the finishing line. Ashutosh Sharma chipped in with his cameo knock of 31 of 17 balls.

Incidentally, Shashank Singh’s name caused massive confusion in Punjab Kings camp at IPL 2024 Auction in December last year. PBKS acquired the services of Singh for INR 20 lakh (USD 24,006) but the franchise was confused as two players of the same name were on their list.

After the purchase, PBKS owners Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia raised their hands to take reverse the bid. However, the auctioneer denied it.

Punjab Kings was subjected to troll for reportedly purchasing the wrong player. However, the franchise issued the clarification that Shashank Singh was on their targeted list of players and they were happy to have him on board.

Shashank Singh was part of SunRisers Hyderabad squad until he was released by the franchise ahead of IPL 2023 Auction. At the auction, none of the franchises had a keen interest in having the Mumbai cricketer on the board. Earlier, Singh played for Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) in 2017 and Rajasthan Royals from 2019 and 2021.

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected to India)