Match Report:


Patient Ellis makes strong IPL return as Punjab upset Royals

Nathan Ellis, who's had to wait all season for a game in the IPL, has been showered with praise after taking his belated chance superbly for Punjab

Nathan Ellis has waited over the best part of two months to finally get a game in this season's IPL - and Punjab Kings must be regretting they didn't give him a chance earlier as the Australian international grabbed his chance brilliantly.

Good things come to those who wait and, after Ellis had twiddled his thumbs on the bench for a dozen matches in India, captain Sam Curran was the first to salute his "absolutely amazing" impact as his miserly bowling set up their consolation five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old death bowling specialist may be T20 World Cup-bound and a 13-wicket star of Punjab's campaign in 2023, but it had not been enough to win him a place in the Mohali-based team in 2024, even as they slumped to the bottom of the table.

The presence of South Africa star Kagiso Rabada had been one of the major factors keeping Ellis out of the XI, but the Proteas quick returned to South Africa overnight with a lower limb soft tissue infection.

But with nothing more to play for than avoiding the wooden spoon as the last-placed of the 10 sides, Ellis showed what the Kings had been missing, sending down four tight overs, going for just 24 runs as Punjab's most economical bowler and grabbing the key wicket of Royals' captain Sanju Samson (18).

Ellis's efforts, which also featured 10 dot balls, helped keep Rajasthan down to 9-144 off their 20 overs. Riyan Parag was the mainstay of the ininngs with his 48 off 34 balls.

On what wasn't the easiest of slow pitches at the already-qualified Royals' Guwahati home, Curran himself proved the hero with the bat, guiding his side to victory after a poor start with his 63 not out off 41 balls inspiring them to 5-145 with seven balls remaining.

Nathan Ellis is congratulated after taking the wicket of Sanju Samson // Getty

But the England star was more interested in saluting his NSW newcomer Ellis than blowing his own trumpet.

"I thought Nathan Ellis for his first game of the season was absolutely amazing, showed what a class player he is and why he's such a good bowler," said Curran.

"And we've probably missed him all season, and probably should have played him," he added with a sheepish grin, while conceding "hindsight's a wonderful thing".

"I thought we bowled really well as a group. We had a lot of pride to play for out there, not just going through the motions. That was real character from the team."

The win leaves Punjab ninth on the table but Rajasthan will be in the playoffs (top four) despite a fourth successive defeat.

IPL 2024 standings

Matches played
No results
Net Run Rate
Total points
1 Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata Knight Riders KKR 14 9 3 0 2 1.428 0 20
2 Sunrisers Hyderabad Sunrisers Hyderabad SUN 14 8 5 0 1 0.414 0 17
3 Rajasthan Royals Rajasthan Royals RAJ 14 8 5 0 1 0.273 0 17
4 Royal Challengers Bengaluru Men Royal Challengers Bengaluru Men RCB 14 7 7 0 0 0.459 0 14
5 Chennai Super Kings Chennai Super Kings CSK 14 7 7 0 0 0.392 0 14
6 Delhi Capitals Men Delhi Capitals Men DEL 14 7 7 0 0 -0.377 0 14
7 Lucknow Super Giants Lucknow Super Giants LSG 14 7 7 0 0 -0.667 0 14
8 Gujarat Titans Gujarat Titans GUT 14 5 7 0 2 -1.063 0 12
9 Punjab Kings Punjab Kings KXI 14 5 9 0 0 -0.353 0 10
10 Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians MI 14 4 10 0 0 -0.318 0 8

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

T: Ties

N/R: No results

NRR: Net Run Rate

Ded.: Deductions

PTS: Total points

Australians in IPL 2024

Delhi Capitals: Mitch Marsh (A$1.2m), David Warner (A$1.16m), Jhye Richardson (A$890,000), Jake Fraser-McGurk (A$92,000)

Gujarat Titans: Spencer Johnson (A$1.78m), Matthew Wade (A$446,000)

Kolkata Knight Riders: Mitchell Starc (A$4.43m)

Lucknow Super Giants: Marcus Stoinis (A$1.7m), Ashton Turner (A$178,000)

Mumbai Indians: Tim David (A$1.53m)

Punjab Kings: Nathan Ellis (A$135,000)

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Cameron Green (A$3.15m), Glenn Maxwell (A$2m)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Pat Cummins (A$3.67m), Travis Head (A$1.2m)

*Prices in AUD, conversions correct at time of auction