IPL 2019, Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab Highlights: Before this match began, all eyes were on Steve Smith. So it was quite ironic that when he finally walked on to the field, no one even cared. That is because, Ravichandran Ashwin had given the cricketing world a crisis of conscience by running out the burgeoning Jos Buttler, who was at the non-striker’s end, before he had bowled the ball. In short, he had ‘Mankaded’ him.
Rajasthan were cruising until that stage with Buttler on 69 off 43 balls but after that, they lost seven wickets in the last four overs and conceded the match. Buttler and Ashwin gave each other a rather cold handshake after the match, unsurprisingly.
"We all know that after six overs, it's always gonna slow down. So credit to the bowlers. Been working on a lot of variations. No real argument to that. I didn't even load and he left the crease. It's always been my take on it, because it's my half of the crease. We ended on the right side of it but those things are game-changers and batsmen need to be wary of it. We just played five bowlers, so everybody ticked their boxes. If we can have good five bowlers, nothing like it."
Should Ashwin or shouldn't Ashwin have
A Mankading incident always leads to some very strong reactions. If that happens in one of the biggest events of the cricketing calendar, well, twitter goes into a frenzy of opinions. READ MORE
No hat-trick for Rajpoot, RR win by 14 runs
What an anticlimax. Rajasthan Royals have lost seven wickets in the last four overs. What an astonishing collapse this has been from the home side.
OUT! Rajpoot on a hat-trick
Low full toss, Gowtham lofts it to Shami at mid-off. Considering how RR are tumbling, it will be a surprise if Rajpoot does not get a hat-trick here.
Short delivery from Rajpoot, Unadkat goes for a pull and the ball bloats up in the air, Rajpoot runs towards the batsman's end to take the catch, so is Pooran. An almighty collision between the two but Rajpoot somehow holds on. Pooran seemed to have come out worse from that little coming together but he is also up and running in a few minutes, unlikes Rajasthan Royals.
OUT! RR have lost it
In the blockhole from Shami and Joffra Archer digs it out before starting to run a single. Both batsmen start and stop in their runs and in the end stop in the middle of the pitch, leaving Shami to calmly walk towards the stumps at the striker's end and knock off the bails. Rajasthan Royals are down and out.
OUT! RR are a-tumblin'
Three wickets in 10 balls and the latest man to go is Rahul Tripathi. Rajasthan Royals have fallen to pieces after that Buttler dismissal. Say what you will about him, Ashwin knows how to get under the skin of the opposition.
WICKET! And now Stokes goes
Stokes had hit a six off the previous ball over deep midwicket. He tried the same shot but Mujeeb's googly does the trick. Stokes ends up hitting it to long on.
OUT! Curran gets two!
Sanju Samson tries to go down the ground, ends up slicing it to extra cover. An easy catch for Ashwin who is pumped up! This is quite a dramatic match.
OUT! Smith departs
His return has been cut short. He tries to go big but can't quite get enough distance on it. Rahul is running to his left from long off and dives to take the catch. Sam Curran gets his first IPL wicket. RR 148/3.
15 overs gone
Steve Smith is in the house and looking good. He has scored 19 off 13 balls thus far. RR need 39 to win off the last 24.
Ashwin has Mankaded Buttler!
Umpire went upstairs after Ashwin appealed and then there was a heated argument between him and Buttler as the replays rolled in. Buttler was very clearly outside the crease. Buttler walks off, he is screaming in the direction of what seems to be the KXIP dugout, he is livid and he is shaking his head. What a bizarre way to end an incredible innings. He made 69 off 43 balls, RR 108/2. This will lead to pages and pages of debates.
Buttler vs Ashwin
It has been an interesting contest thus far. Buttler only took singles off the over in which Ashwin got Rahane but after he picked up two fours in the over after that. Ashwin comes back for the 11th and Buttler respectfully takes singles again.
OUT! ASHWIN STRIKES FIRST BALL!
Carrom ball does the trick. It straightens towards off stump, Rahane tries to sweep it and ends up playing inside the line. The ball hits the stumps.
50 for Buttler
The Englishman has simply picked up where he left off last season. 51 off 29 balls so far.
Buttler flogs Sam
The two were a big part off England's win over India in the Test series last year but hey, national affiliations don't matter. Rahane takes a single off the first ball of Sam Curran's over to get off strike and then Buttler smashes 18 runs off the rest of the over.
Rahane and Buttler
They have opened the Rajasthan innings and are both looking quite dangerous. Rahane smashed three fours off the first innings and Buttler has since send the ball to the boundary quite a few times. 27/0 after 3.
FOUR! Buttler, you beauty! What a shot that is. Pitched it fuller and the batsman just pushed it over the covers for another boundary. MOhammed Shami under pressure early on his spell.
CHASE IS ON!
Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler are out to chase down the total. The duo have gone off to a blistering start, scoring 18 runs in 2 overs.
Kings XI Punjab 184/4 after 20 overs
Sarfaraz Khan played some cheeky shots in the death overs and the last over went for 17 runs. But Rajasthan Royals have done well to pull things back considering Punjab looked destined to cross 200 when Gayle was blowing up.
Gayle left but the man who is being called the new Gayle is in the middle. Nicholas Pooran goes down on one knee and sends Unadkat over extra cover.
OUT! Gaylestorm ends
That ball looked destined to travel over the boundary for the fifth time after leaving Gayle's bat but Tripathi keeps his calm and catches it right at the deep midwicket boundary. Stokes gets his man but only after being smashed for 19 runs in that over.
Gayle tees off!
Gayle is just smashing it now. He is done running singles. He is only looking for the aerial route. He has now raced to 79 off 47 balls and smashed 4 sixes and 8 fours.
Cloudy with a chance of Gaylestorm
Is this the beginning of a carnage? Chris Gayle smashes a hat-trick of fours off Unadkat and then hits a six into the stands over long on to reach his half-century. 19 runs off the 12th over, KXIP 94/2
Sarfraz uppercuts a short ball to the boundary line. There were questions on why he has been selected. This, is a good way to start answering them.
Mayank Agarwal goes big and almost clears the ropes if it wasn't for Dhawal Kulkarni standing at the boundary ropes. He stretches, plucks the ball out of thin air and ensures that he doesn't touch the ropes.
Oooooohh Mr. Gayle goes cheeky. Good length delivery by Unadkat outside off, Gayle simply opens up the blade and edges it fine for four. There was no slips in place and the keeper was not even in the frame as the ball passed by.
4000 IPL runs
Chris Gayle takes a quick single and now he has surpassed 4,000 IPL runs. Ninth player overall & second overseas player to achieve that feat after David Warner (4099 runs). Will this be the night for a Gayle Storm?
SIX! Mayank Agarwal hammers K Gowtham for a straight six. Gowtham pitched a bit fuller and Mayank got under the ball and gave it a good knock. The ball travelled the distance easily.
WICKET! Dhawal Kulkarni strikes and KL Rahul's woes continues and has reached IPL. Pitched outside off stump, Rahul went late and edged it to the keeper. Buttler dived to his right to take a splendid one-hand take. KXIP 4/1
A boundary on the second ball and KL Rahul shows his class as a T20 batsman. Pitched outside off stumps and the batsman pushes it past the covers. It raced towards the ropes.
HERE WE GO!
Chris Gayle and KL Rahul out to open the innings for Kings XI Punjab. Rajasthan Royals give the new ball to Dhawan Kulkarni. HERE WE GO!
Ravi Ashwin, Punjab captain: New recruits in the side, lots of young talent. New season, new hopes. Don't think the wicket will change much, but we were also looking to bowl first. Hopefully with our bowling attack we can defend the score. As far as this bunch goes, they are very keen, and there is no baggage from the past (given that Kings XI haven't won a game at this stadium), so we don't care about the old records. Our overseas players - Pooran, Gayle, Mujeeb and Sam Curran.
Ajinkya Rahane, Rajasthan captain: It's important to start well, and the preparation that we have had has been fantastic. We need to start well, get some momentum, and stay in the moment. We'll bowl first. Looks like a good wicket. We have had some practice matches. Won't change much, this pitch. It's all about staying in the moment and following the process. Jos Buttler, Archer, Smith, Stokes - our overseas players.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahane (C), Buttler, Smith, Samson, Stokes, Tripathi, Gowtham, Gopal, Archer, Unadkat, Kulkarni
Kings XI Punjab: Gayle, Rahul, Agarwal, Sarfaraz, Pooran, Mandeep, Sam Curran, Ashwin (C), Shami, Mujeeb, Rajpoot
RR win toss, elect to bowl first
Ajinkya Rahane says the foreign players for Rajasthan are Joffra Archer, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Steve Smith. For KXIP, it will be Gayle, Pooran, Curran and Mujeeb.
Michael Clarke, doing commentary for Star Sports, reckons that this is a good batting surface, despite the fact that it could be two-paced. He thinks that Joffra Archer's yorkers would be something that the KXIP batsmen could find difficult to deal with.
Smith and Warner
They are both very different players. Smith was never as explosive as Warner and so expecting him to play the way the latter played at the Eden Gardens yesterday would be rather foolish. Instead, Smith would be expected to play the anchor and KXIP will know that letting him settle down means taking a one-way ticket to loserland.
Hello and welcome!
Steve Smith. That name is looming over this match, somewhat like how David Warner's was looming over SRH's match against KKR yesterday. If there were any doubts on whether the long break that he had to take has affected his abilities, Warner dismissed them with great vengeance and furious anger. Now it is upto his former Australian captain to show that he too remains as good as he was before things went down the pants in South Africa in March 2018.