The fourth game of the Indian Premier League between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab ended in controversy as Ravichandran Ashwin was called out for his unsporting gesture when he mankaded Jos Buttler.
The incident, which occurred in the 13th over of the second innings, stalled the momentum and the home team could not recover as they lost the game by 14 runs.
Chasing 185 for a win, Rajasthan were led bravely by Ajinkya Rahane and Buttler, before the middle order failed to capitalize on the good start. As many as five uncapped players took the field today, and here is a recap of their performance.
Sarfaraz, you beauty!
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) March 25, 2019
The former RCB player was not retained by the Kohli-led franchise and the pressure was on the young star to showcase his skills once again on the big stage. Coming in to bat at number 4, when the scorecard read 60 for 2, Sarfaraz had to face some fine bowling from Dhawal Kulkarni upfront but soon got into the groove with a splendid uppercut that raced away to the boundary. It was mayhem thereafter as he raced away to 46 balls in only 29 deliveries with the help of six fours and a six. What stood out through the innings was the player’s risk-taking abilities – something that had fetched him rave reviews when he was in the RCB camp.
His four in the last over – when he went for a scoop – remained as the shot of the match. His innings helped Punjab cross the 180-run mark, which proved to be match-winning in the end.
Also Read: Was Ashwin right to Mankad Buttler?
Rajpoot was one of the three Punjab bowlers who ended with two wickets – he conceded 33 runs in his 4 overs whilst picking up Gowtham and Jaydev Unadkat. Rajpoot was initially in the line of attack by a roaring Buttler, who smashed the pacer for three fours in four deliveries. The bowler was not particularly making mistakes, but the might of Buttler was such that even the best of bowlers would have struggled. He did bowl two no-balls in succession to Steve Smith but settled down soon after as he scalped two wickets in two deliveries in the last over to hand Punjab their first ever win at Jaipur.
Tripathi’s contribution in the match was limited as he could score only a solitary run before being dismissed by Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Krishnappa Gowtham breaks the 56-run partnership between Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle. The former miscues and holes out to long-off where Dhawal Kulkarni takes a smart catch near the ropes.
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) March 25, 2019
Gowtham could not contribute much with the bat – scoring 3 runs in 4 deliveries but did pick up a wicket with the cherry in hand. Opening the bowling for Rajasthan Royals, he was punished first-up for bowling a ball that had flight on offer to Mayank Agarwal, who sent it soaring above the ropes. He did get his wicket eventually, but not before he had been centered around by Gayle for a six. He conceded 32 runs in his quota of overs.
With Gayle in fine form and with the West Indian’s love for right-arm leg-break bowlers, Rahane kept Gopal away from the attack till after the Universal Boss’ dismissal. Hence he could bowl only one over, where he gave away 5 runs. He could not contribute with the bat as well, scoring 1 run.