IPL 2019: Kings XI Punjab overcome Buttler blitz to win their opening match
- 'Universe Boss' trumps 'Universe Jos' in the encounter between RR and KXIP at Jaipur.
Kings XI Punjab overcame a terrific innings from Jos Buttler to win their opening game against the Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs. The game will, however, be more talked about Ravichandran Ashwin's controversial run out of Buttler, once again sparking the debate about the 'Spirit of the Game'.
Kings XI Punjab were asked to bat by Rajasthan Royals. They were not off to a great start with KL Rahul being dismissed in the very first over by Dhawal Kulkarni, caught behind by Buttler. After his dismissal, Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal started to slowly build a partnership and scored 32 runs by the end of the powerplay.
They were gradually increasing the scoring rate before Agarwal's innings was cut short by a brilliant catch by Kulkarni off Krishnappa Gowtham, leaving Punjab 61 for 2 at the end of 9 overs.
Gayle decided to cut loose a slow start by scoring 19 runs of the 12th over and bring up his 50 in just 33 balls. He then had a brilliant partnership with Sarfaraz Khan but was finally dismissed off the bowling of Ben Stokes at the score of 79.
Just as it seemed Punjab were on their way to a below par score after the partnership, an attacking innings of 46 runs off just 29 balls by Sarfaraz powered them to a total of 184 runs with 17 runs coming off the last over.
Rajasthan Royals got off to a flying start, scoring 64 runs in just 6 overs with both Ajinkya Rahane and Buttler finding the boundary regularly. Buttler was particularly severe on his English teammate Sam Curran, wherein he scored 19 runs off just one of his over.
The captain Ashwin brought himself into the attack and accounted for Rahane which brought Sanju Samson to the crease. After Rahane's dismissal, Rajasthan's run rate slowed down a little but with Buttler at 69(43) Rajasthan were well in control in the run chase.
However, then came the controversial dismissal of Buttler where Ashwin ran him out when he had backed up too far down the pitch. Buttler was particularly furious at what transpired and left the ground confused and angry, bringing Steve Smith to the crease. He then steadied the innings with Samson and they bought down the equation to 39 required of 4 overs.
However, Curran who had a terrible IPL debut so far was bought back into the attack. It changed the complete complexion of the match when he first took the wicket of Smith who was out to a brilliant catch by Rahul, and then that of Samson. Rajasthan Royals never truly recovered as they lost 5 more wickets and eventually lost their opening match by 14 runs.
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