RR held their nerve till the end despite Mayank Agarwal’s 67 and cameos from PBKS Captain K. L. Rahul, Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran went on to seal a two-run victory.
In the chase, Rahul rode his luck as he got as many as three reprieves and went on to score 49 while Agarwal slammed 67 off 43 balls.
Rahul, who became the second fastest to score 3,000 IPL runs, Agarwal made sure their team got a solid start and brought up a fifty-run stand in the seventh over. Agarwal then creamed three fours in the next over.
Two overs later, Agarwal, who completed his 10th IPL fifty and crossed the 2,000-run mark in the IPL and Rahul went after Chris Morris and hammered 25 runs in an over to complete a 100-run partnership.
However, RR managed to dismiss the PBKS openers in the space of two overs. While Chetan Sakariya got Rahul out for 49, Rahul Tewatia dismissed Agarwal in the 13th over.
While Pooran and Markram added 57 runs together, RR kept their calm even when PBKS needed just eight runs from the last two overs to win.
Mustafizur Rahman bowled a four-run penultimate over before Tyagi put on a bowling masterclass and conceded just one run and picked up two wickets – Pooran and Deepak Hooda – in the final over to take RR home.
Earlier, Ishan Porel, Adil Rashid and Markram made their IPL debuts after receiving their PBKS caps while Evin Lewis made his debut for RR.
RR, who were put in to bat, were off to a cracking start as Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal went after PBKS bowlers to bring up the fifty in five overs.
However, the partnership was broken as Arshdeep, bowling his first over, struck in the final over of the powerplay, dismissing Lewis for 36.
Porel, who was earlier put under the pump, was then brought back into the attack in the eight over and he provided PBKS their second breakthrough after KL Rahul grabbed a one-handed stunner to get Sanju Samson out.
RR needed a partnership after losing two wickets in quick succession and Jaiswal and Liam Livingstone did just that as the duo added 48 runs together in 28 balls to take RR past 110.
The partnership was eventually broken in the 12th over as Fabian Allen took a sensational diving catch near the ropes to get Livingstone out for 25.
Jaiswal (49) was the next man to be dismissed as Agarwal took a fine catch off Harpreet Brar.
Meanwhile, Mahipal Lomror went after PBKS bowlers. The left-hander hammered 24 runs in an over, creaming two sixes and two fours off Hooda as RR moved past 160-run mark after 16 overs.
But PBKS pulled things back as Mohammad Shami and Arshdeep joined forces. While Shami dismissed Riyan Parag in the 17th over, Arshdeep had the better of Lomror, who scored 43 off 17 balls.
Shami then bowled a double-wicket penultimate over, dismissing Rahul Tewatia and Chris Morris before Arshdeep completed a five-wicket haul, getting Sakariya and Kartik Tyagi out in the 20th over, as PBKS bowled RR out for 185.
Rajasthan Royals: 185 in 20 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 49, Mahipal Lomror 43, Arshdeep Singh 5/32)
Punjab Kings: 183/4 in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 67, K. L. Rahul 49, Kartik Tygai 2/29). (Agencies)