We were expecting a thriller. But Rajasthan Royals (RR) failed to turn up against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 32nd match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali.
Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and opener KL Rahul played pivotal roles as KXIP produced a superb all-round performance to script a comfortable 12-run win over RR in a second leg IPL clash to bring their campaign back on track.
Opener Rahul hit a 47-ball 52, while Ashwin (2/24) smashed 17 off four balls in the last over and then took two crucial wickets as KXIP bounced back after successive losses in the last two matches to record their fifth win in this IPL.
Invited to bat, Rahul, who was named in India's World Cup squad on Monday, and David Miller (40 off 27) shared a 85-run stand to lay the foundation.
Ashwin then smashed a four and successive sixes in the last two balls to put KXIP in a strong position.
The hosts then returned to restrict Rajasthan to 168 for seven, courtesy some superb bowling by Ashwin and Murugan Ashwin (1/24) in the middle overs after Arshdeep Singh's maiden two IPL wickets. Mohammad Shami was expensive but came good in the final overs, scalping two wickets.
After this win, KXIP Punjab grabbed the fourth spot in the points table with 10 points to keep play-off hopes alive.
However, it was Rajasthan's sixth loss and they will need to pull up their socks if they have to salvage any hopes of making it to the knockout stage.
Kings XI Punjab: 182 for 6 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 52; J Archer 3/15)
Rajasthan Royals: 168 for 7 in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 50; R Ashwin 2/24).
Man of the match: R Ashwin
11:38 PM IST: Mohammed Shami on with the last over and a wicket off the first ball, Shreyas Gopal out for a first ball duck. Caught at long-off by Mayank Agarwal. Jaydev Unadkat is the new man. Stuart Binny on strike. Single not taken. 23 off four. Almost a four at long off. Two runs. Another two. And another double. A four to end the match, but a win for Punjab. By 12 runs. Binny's heroics fails to save Rajasthan. He remains unbeaten on 33 off 11.
11:32 PM IST: Arshdeep Singh dismisses Ajinkya Rahane, caught by Mohammed Shami behind the wicket. FoW-148/6 (18.3 Over). Rajasthan need 35 runs from 9 balls. And Shreyas Gopal is the new man. Binny hits the next ball for a six over deep square leg. A dot, close enough to being a wide. Another six, straight down the ground. 14 runs from the over. Arshdeep Singh: 4-0-43-2. RR-160/6 after 19 overs. They need 23 from the last over.
11:25 PM IST: Another wicket for KXIP. Mohammed Shami had Jofra Archer caught at long on by KL Rahul. Stuart Binny joins skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the centre. 133/5 (17.1 Over). And Binny hits Shami for a four and a six of successive balls. RR-146/5 after 18 overs. They need 37 from 12 balls.
11:17 PM IST: Debutant Ashton Turner, who destroyed Indian at Mohali during the ODI series, gets out for a third successive duck. Murugan Ashwin had him caught at long-off by David Miller. Golden duck. Six runs and a wicket from the over. RR-133/4 after 17 overs.
11:12 PM IST: Fifty for Rahul Tripathi in 44 balls. Promoted to open the innings, he keeps the RR hopes alive. No just after reaching his fifty, Tripathi ends up offering an easy catch for Mayank Agarwal at long on. RR-127/3 after 16 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin completes his spell for figures of 2/24. Rajasthan need 56 runs another 24 balls. Ashton Turner joins Ajinkya Rahane in the centre.
11:07 PM IST: Murugan Ashwin on with his third over. Tidy over. Just five runs. RR-122/2 after 15 overs. They need 61 from 30 balls.
11:01 PM IST: Mandeep Singh gets his first over. Eight runs -- Four singles and two doubles. RR-117/2 after 14 overs. They need 66 from 36 balls. Time out.
10:56 PM IST: Mohammed Shami continues to leak runs. He concedes 11 runs from his second over, including two fours. His figures so far - 0/23 from two overs. RR-109/2 after 13 overs. In the previous over R Ashwin concedes five runs for a wicket.
10:50 PM IST: Carrom ball from R Ashwin. Sanju Samson bowled. FoW-97/2 (11.4 Over). Samson made 27 off 21 balls. RR need another 86 from 50 balls. That brings skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the middle.
10:48 PM IST: Another tidy over for KXIP. Murugan Ashwin concedes four singles. RR-93/1 after 11 overs. They need 90 runs from 54 balls.
10:45 PM IST: R Ashwin on with his second over. Four singles from it. RR-89/1 after 10 overs. They need another 94 runs from 60 balls. Rahul Tripathi (36 off 27) and Sanju Samson (22 off 16) have added another 51 in 35 balls.
10:42 PM IST: 12 runs from Mohammed Shami's first over. Sanju Samson hits the third and fourth balls. RR-85/1 after nine overs.
10:34 PM IST: Another good over for Rajasthan. Ten runs from R Ashwin's first over, including two threes. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who's trying to stop the last ball from going for a four, injures himself in the process. RR-73/1 after eight overs. They need another 110 runs from 72 balls. Time out.
10:30 PM IST: Bowling change. Murugan Ashwin on with the seventh over. Nine runs from the over, including a four off the fourth ball, hit by Rahul Tripathi. RR-63/1. They need 120 runs more.
10:25 PM IST: End of mandatory power-play period. Three runs from Mujeeb Ur Rahman's third over. RR-54/1. They need another 129 runs from 84 balls.
10:22 PM IST: Arshdeep Singh gets his maiden wicket, a big one. He had dangerous Jos Buttler caught by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran at short fine leg with a slower delivery. Top edge. 38/1 (4.1 Over). Buttler made 23 off 17 balls. Sanju Samson is the new man. 13 runs from the over as Rahul Tripathi hit the fourth and sixth balls for fours. RR-51/1 after five overs. They need another 132 runs from 90 balls.
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10:15 PM IST: Mujeeb Ur Rahman continues with his second over. 10 runs from it, including two wides resulting in five extras. RR-38/0 after four overs. RR-38/0 after four overs. They need 145 runs from 95 balls.
10:00 PM IST: Arshdeep Singh continues with his second over. Jos Buttler hits the first ball for a six, over deep mid-wicket. Two singles, then Buttler his a four through backward point. He loves this fixture - 77(37) in 2017, 51(39) and 82(58) in 2018 and 69(43) earlier this season. He's already in 20's tonight. 13 runs from the over. RR-28/0 after three overs. They need another 155 runs.
10:06 PM IST: Mujeeb Ur Rahman shares the new ball, and the off-spinner leaks 11 runs. Two dot balls to Jos Buttler then the RR opener hits the third ball for a six over long-on. RR-15/0 after two overs.
10:02 PM IST: Arshdeep Singh starts the proceedings. A single to Rahul Tripathi. The left-arm pacer keeps dangerous Jos Buttler quiet with two dot balls, then a single. He's deceptively quick, and hits Tripathi on the pad for one leg bye. A single more and four runs from the over. RR-4/0.
9:43 PM IST: Dhawal Kulkarni with the last over of the innings. Wicket off the first ball. He had David Miller caught at deep mid-wicket by Jos Buttler. FoW-164/6 (19.1 Over). Mujeeb Ur Rahman is the new man but Ashwin will take strike. A four to third man from the skipper. And Ashwin pulls the fifth ball for a six. And another six for Ashwin, this time behind the wicket, as KXIP take 18 end with a flourish. Kulkarni's figures:1/37. Ashwin unbeaten on 17 off four. KXIP-182/6.
9:38 PM IST: What an end to Jofra Archer's spell. Short and slow and Mandeep Singh plays on to the stump in a bizarre manner. Three runs and two wickets from the over. His figures:3/15, including 15 dots. Yes, there were more than a few extras. R Ashwin is the new man. KXIP-164/5 after 19 overs.
9:35 PM IST: Jofra Archer gets his second scalp. He had Nicholas Pooran caught at extra cover by Ajinkya Rahane. FoW-163/4 (18.3 Over). Pooran made five off six. Mandeep Singh is the new man.
9:32 PM IST: Jaydev Unadkat on with his last over. Wicket off the first ball. He had KL Rahul caught at backward point, easy one for Jofra Archer. FoW-152/3 (17.1 Over). Nicholas Pooran, who missed nearly one year of action after a car accident, joins David Miller in the centre. Lef-handed Pooran takes a double off the first ball he faced. Miller hits the last ball for a four through cover. Nine runs from the over. Unadkat's figures: 1/48. KXIP-161/3 after 18 overs.
9:25 PM IST: Jofra Archer cleans up David Miller's off stump off the second ball, but it was big front foot no-ball. And David Miller and KL Rahul run three after the ball ricocheted off the stump. Nothing from the Free hit though. A yorker and dot. Rahul plays a beautiful inside out shot for a four, and that's his fifth fifty of the season. He takes 45 balls to reach the fifty with the help of three fours and two sixes. After a slow start, he has taken RR bowlers to the cleaners. 12 runs from the over. KXIP-152/2 after 17 overs.
9:18 PM IST: Shreyas Gopal completes his spell (0/31). Very good last over. Just four runs. KXIP-140/2 after 16 overs. 51 runs in the last four overs as KL Rahul (46 off 42) and David Miller (32 off 20) added 73 in 44 for the third wicket.
9:14 PM IST: A four off the first ball and fifty-run stand between KL Rahul and David Miller in 32 balls. Rahul finds the fine leg boundary with an adventurous scoop shot. A single then David Miller dispatches the full toss over deep mid-wicket boundary. A single, then Rahul makes some room and lofts it over point. A double and 20 runs from Jaydeb Unadkat's third over. KXIP-136/2 after 15 overs.
9:09 PM IST IST: Huge over for Punjab. 19 runs from Ish Sodhi's last over. His figures - 1/41. KL Rahul hits the third ball for a six, a single then David Miller middles and another six. KXIP-116/2 after 14 overs.
9:01 PM IST: David Miller also gets his first boundary, courtesy a controlled sweep shot off the second ball. Shreyas Gopal leaks eight runs from the over. KXIP-97/2 after 13 overs. Time out.
8:58 PM IST: KL Rahul hits his first boundary, in the 12th over. He hits the short delivery through mid-off. Eightr runs from Jaydev Unadkat's second over. KXIP-89/2 after 12 overs.
8:51 PM IST: Ish Sodhi on with his third over. Another busy one. A double off the first ball as KL Rahul plays it to mid-wicket. Four more singles as Sodhi concedes six runs. KXIP-81/2 after 11 overs.
8:48 PM IST: Busy over from Shreyas Gopal. Five singles and a double. KXIP-75/2 after 10 overs. World Cup-bound KL Rahul is playing a subdues innings. Yet to hit a boundary. He is unbeaten on 13 off 23.
8:43 PM IST: Ish Sodhi strikes in his second over. Gets rid of attacking Mayank Agarwal, caught at long-on by Jofra Archer. Good catch. FoW-67/2 (8.4 Over). David Miller is the new man. Miller was drafted into the playing XI tonight in the last minute as a replacement for Moises Henriques, who injured himself while warming up. Five runs from the over. KXIP-68/2 after nine overs.
8:36 PM IST: Mayank Agarwal takes on Shreyas Gopal. He hits a four and a six off the third and fourth balls respectively. 13 runs from Gopal's first over. KXIP-63/1 after eight overs. Time out.
8:32 PM IST: Ish Sodhi on with his first over of IPL 2019. Mayank Agarwal hits the fourth ball for a six, straight over the bowler's head. 11 runs from the over. KXIP-50/1 after seven overs.
Jofra Archer in action against KXIP at Mohali. AP Photo.
8:28 PM IST: Jofra Archer on with his second over and he gets the big wicket of Chris Gayle just after conceding four byes. Caught behind. FoW-38/1 (5.4 Over). Gayle made 30 off 22. Mayank Agarwal joins his childhood friend KL Rahul in the centre. That's the end of power play. Five runs from the over. KXIP-39/1.
8:23 PM IST: Dhawal Kulkarni on with his third over. Chris Gayle hits the four ball for a four through point. Sublime timing. No need to run. Then he guides the next ball for a six, behind the wicket. He doesn't need to move for that. 13 runs from the over. KXIP-34/0 after five overs.
8:19 PM IST: Bowling change. Jofra Archer gets his first over. A single to KL to start the spell, a dot then Chris Gayle takes a single. And that's all from the over. Just two singles. KXIP-21/0 after four overs.
8:15 PM IST: Dhawal Kulkarni continues with his second over. Good start to the over. A single off the third ball as KL Rahul plays it to square leg. Chris Gayle hits the next ball for a four, thick outside edge. Five runs from the over. KXIP-19/0 after three overs.
8:10 PM IST: Gaylestorm is here. The Jamaican hits Jaydev Unadkat for back-to-back sixes, off the fourth and fifth deliveries. 12 runs from the over. KXIP-14/0 after two overs.
8:04 PM IST: Two singles from the first over. Good start from Dhawal Kulkarni, a single each to KL Rahul and Chris Gayle.
7:38 PM IST: Here are the playing XIs, three changes each -
KXIP: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Murugan Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
RR: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ish Sodhi
7:33 PM IST: Ajinkya Rahane wins the toss and Rajasthan Royals will bowl first.
7:17 PM IST: Here's the biggest development of the day. Ignored Ambati Rayudu takes a subtle dig at Indian selectors, says he will watch the World Cup in 3D.
7:00 PM IST: Meanwhile, Varun Chakravarthy, KXIP spinner has been sidelined from the IPL due to a finger injury.
6:51 PM IST: Here are the Likely XIs -
KXIP: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, R Ashwin (c), Mohammed Shami, M Ashwin
RR: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Ashton Turner, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
6:48 PM IST: Head-to-head: In 18 IPL meetings, Rajasthan have won 10 while Punjab won eight. But at Mohali, it's three-three.
6:45 PM IST: Form guide from the last their respective last three outing -
KXIP: Lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets, lost to Mumbai Indians by three wickets, beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets
RR: Beat Mumbai Indians by four wickets, lost to Chennai Super Kings by four wickets, lost to Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets