Kings reign in Jaipur after Royals loss - SportsGuru

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Kings reign in Jaipur after Royals loss

Chris Gayle produced one of those explosive knocks he is known for as Kings XI Punjab scored a 14-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League match, in Jaipur, on Monday.

Opening the innings, the West Indian run-machine started in uncharacteristic fashion but grew in confidence as the innings progressed as Kings XI posted a challenging 184 for four after being sent in to ba

Chasing the stiff target, Jos Buttler (69) and skipper Ajinkya Rahane (27) got Rajasthan off to a brisk start, dealing in boundaries and sixes to pile up 64 runs in the first six overs of powerplay.

Buttler, in particular, was in a destructive mood as he did not spare a single Kings XI bowler while scoring eight boundaries and two hits over the fence to notch his fifty off just 29 balls.

Buttler was going strong in the company of Sanju Samson (30) as the duo batted sensibly to keep Rajasthan in the hunt. But just when it seemed Kings XI were running out of ideas, skipper Ashwin did the unthinkable and Buttler became the first victim of 'Mankading' in IPL history.

At that stage Buttler was going strong at 69 off 43 balls. The dismissal is sure to raise fresh debate over the spirit of the game as Ashwin did not give the Englishman prior warning. As expected, Buttler seemed furious and had a heated exchange with Ashwin before leaving the field after the third umpire ruled him out.

That dismissal completely changed the complexion of the match in favour of Kings XI as Steve Smith (20), Samson, Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathy departed in quick succession in search of quick runs.

Earlier, Rajasthan's decision to bowl first on a two-paced wicket was bang on target as K L Rahul lasted just four balls before edging an outgoing Dhawal Kulkarni delivery to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who took a brilliant one-handed catch.

Gayle and Mayank Agarwal (22) then struggled to hit big shots against the Kings XI’s disciplined bowling and garnered just 32 runs in the powerplay overs.

The dou finally broke the shackles, hitting Jaydev Unadkat for a four and six to yield 13 runs of the bowler's opening over.

Unadkat's second over, that produced 17 runs, opened the floodgates for Kings XI as Sarfaraz too joined the party and together with Gayle punished the bad deliveries.

After playing cautiously initially, Gayle went on a rampage, stood at his crease and clobbered Ben Stokes (2/48) for two boundaries and six before being caught at the mid-wicket fence by Rahul Tripathi to the fifth ball of the same over.

Gayle and Sarfaraz added 84 runs for the third wicket and, in the process, gave Kings XI the much-needed momentum.

After Gayle's dismissal, Sarfaraz took the onus on himself and took Kings XI past the 180-run mark.

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