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IPL 2019: Match 4, RR vs KXIP: Sam Curran’s double-wicket over is the Moment of the Match

Sahil Jain
ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

Image Courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI
Image Courtesy: IPLT20/BCCI

There was drama, there was action, there were twists and there were controversies. This match had it all. The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur would’ve gone back disappointed that the home team lost but they witnessed nothing short of a dramatic game.

In the fourth game of the season, Rajasthan Royals (RR) won the toss and inserted Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in to bat first. The Punjab side endured a sluggish start as they lost KL Rahul very early and could muster just 32 runs in the powerplay.

But then it was the Chris Gayle show. After a slow start, he turned it around and took all the Rajasthan bowlers to the cleaners. He was dismissed on 79 off 47 balls as he set the platform for a good total.

Playing his first competitive game in over 10 months, Sarfraz Khan gave KXIP some flourish towards the end as his unbeaten 40 propelled them to 184. Most of the RR bowlers were expensive. Barring Jofra Archer and to an extent Dhawal Kulkarni, none of the bowlers could gain control.

Rajasthan Royals got off to a strong start as they amassed 64 runs in the powerplay. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the company of Jos Buttler put the hosts on course to chase 185 down. Despite Rahane’s dismissal in the 9th over, things looked good for Rajasthan. However, Ravichandran Ashwin had Jos Buttler run out in the most unpredictable and controversial fashion.

The KXIP skipper whipped the bails off at the non-striker’s end and Buttler was caught backing up too far. The England wicket-keeper batsman was out for 63 as it irked a huge debate. However, that was not the moment that turned the game.

When Buttler was dismissed, RR needed 77 runs from 43 deliveries and had eight wickets in hand. Moreover, they batted deep and hence, they were still ahead in the game and were favourites to clinch the game.

Steve Smith walked out to the middle in his comeback IPL game and started off well. Sanju Samson was going well too at the other end as the duo shared a 40-run partnership in no time. But the 17th over was the game-changing one.

RR needed 39 off the last four overs and Sam Curran, KXIP’s most expensive bowler was summoned to finish his quota. He had given away 48 runs in his three overs and it seemed like his IPL debut had turned into a nightmare. However, he turned it around with two wickets in the over where he conceded just four runs and picked up the wickets of both set batsmen, Samson and Smith.

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Curran gave away just two runs off his first three deliveries. Smith then tried to launch on over long-off but didn’t get enough distance. KL Rahul covered some really good ground and took a magnificent catch to send the former Aussie skipper back to the pavilion. Then came the wicket of Samson off the final delivery of the over. The Kerala batsman tried to lift one over the off-side and only managed to toe end it and Ashwin took a good catch running back from cover.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman then got a couple of wickets in the 18th over before Mohammed Shami and Ankit Rajpoot finished the game with some good death bowling.

But that over from Curran really turned the game around in the favour of KXIP. The required run-rate shot up from 9.75 to 11.67 and both set batsmen were dismissed. Eventually, KXIP got first points on the board as they won by 14 runs.

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