Punjab’s Livingstone lives up to IPL award

Cricket – ICC Men’s T20 World Cup – Super 12 – Group 1 – Australia v England – Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – October 30, 2021 Liam Livingstone of England reacts REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

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NEW DELHI, April 4 (Reuters) – Liam Livingstone showed why the Punjab Kings spent $1.52million to secure his services with a dazzling full display in Sunday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) victory over holders of Chennai Super Kings.

English spin bowling power hitter Livingstone, the most expensive foreign player in the IPL this season, broke a 60 from 32 balls and then claimed 2-25 to help Punjab to their second victory in three matches.

“The first two games didn’t go my way, so it’s good to contribute to a win,” said the 28-year-old, who plays both breaks and legs, after picking up the player Match. award.

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Livingstone came on when Punjab were 14-2 in the second and he immediately counterattacked, breaking five sixes and as many limits in his searing blow.

“All of our conversations have been about trying to be as exciting as possible and as aggressive as possible…” he said of his batting approach.

“I swung pretty hard and it’s good to get a few out of the middle today.”

It was a welcome return to form for Livingstone, who scored 19 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders and went wicketless in both games.

“Things didn’t quite go my way in the first two games. I also struggled a bit with Rajasthan last year.

“It’s nice to have a performance like this. I hope it gives me some confidence for the future.”

Punjab captain Mayank Agarwal said he just let Livingstone do his thing.

“I didn’t tell him anything. Everyone holds their breath when he punches. The punches he hits are just fantastic,” Agarwal said.

Livingstone, however, said he was not the biggest hitter in the Punjab side.

“I beat in the net with Odeon Smith. He’s been covering for me for a long time, believe me,” he said referring to the versatile Jamaican player.

“I’m sure he will come on at some point in the tournament.”

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Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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Eleanor C. William