The 32nd match of IPL 2019 began with signs of 'Gaylestorm' hitting Rajasthan Royals. Jofra Archer, though had other plans, as he sent the giant from the Caribbean back to the hut before the damage made by him became out of control.
Mayank Agarwal and David Miller then took the Royals to task and scored quickfire scores of 26 and 40 respectively to put Punjab in a very good position. KL Rahul, on the other hand, scored a well-compiled half century.
Once KL Rahul was dismissed in the 18th over, Punjab lost 3 wickets for a mere 12 runs but a cameo from their skipper Ravichandran Ashwin saw them set a target of 183 for the visiting team from Rajasthan.
Ajinkya Rahane surprised one and all by sending Rahul Tripathi out to open the innings with Jos Buttler.
Much like his Caribbean counterpart, Buttler started off well but debutant Arshdeep Singh bowled a slower ball outside off which saw the end of the Royals opener. Tripathi kept going on at one end and scored a half century but got out at a crucial juncture in his attempt to change gears. Samson and Rahane both chipped in but failed to stay till the end.
A quickfire 33* off just 11 balls from Stuart Binny helped Royals get closer to the total but they still fell short by 12 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin won the Man of The Match award for his all round performance of 17*(4) and 2-24 (4).
Kings XI Punjab became the fourth team in this edition of the IPL to reach 10 points and are now sitting at the 4th spot but their NRR of -0.015 might be a matter of concern if Kolkata Knights Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad get back to winnings ways as both of them have positive NRRs.
Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, are placed at 7 in the points table, having won just 2 out of their 8 games. They have 4 points from 8 games and an extremely poor NRR of -0.589. It will be an uphill task for the Royals from now on.
The Orange cap still sits pretty on David Warner's head as he has already scored 400 runs in this year's IPL with many more matches to come. He is followed closely by KL Rahul at 387 runs. Unlike last year, Rahul hasn't attacked the bowlers from the word go, but his steady approach sees him at number 2 of the Orange Cap board. He is followed by his teammate Chris Gayle at No 3, and Jos Buttler too has joined them in the top 5.
T20 matches are not exactly bowler friendly, and most of the times, we are used to watching bowlers being belted to all parts of the ground. One standout performer with the ball in hand in this year's IPL though has been the Delhi Capitals' South African pacer Kagiso Rabada.
He retains his position at the top spot of the Purple Cap with 17 wickets. Two wickets each for Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin saw them climb to the fourth and fifth spot of the Purple Cap leaderboard with a tally of 12 and 11 wickets respectively. Jofra Archer climbed up to the 8th spot with his 3-wicket haul in today's match.Published 17 Apr 2019, 03:39 IST