Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) registered another win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Tuesday, April 16 in Mohali. 

Rajasthan Royals won the toss and opted to field first. Both the teams made some changes in their playing XI. Asked to bat, Punjab opener Chris Gayle and KL Rahul added 38 runs before Gayle’s dismissal. However, KL Rahul’s half-century, David Miller’s 40 off 27 and a quickfire 4-ball 17 from Ravichandran Ashwin helped them to put up 182 runs on board; where Jofra Archer bagged 3 wickets for Rajasthan.

Chasing 183, Rajasthan openers added 38 runs before Joss Buttler’s dismissal for 23. Rahul Tripathi, who opened the innings with Buttler, scored a fifty and later Stuart Binny scored a blitzy 33 off 11. But those were not enough to get past the line and Punjab won the game 12 runs.

Here are the three talking points:

Jofra Archer’s fiery spell

Jofra Archer is one of the key players of Rajasthan Royals; who once again proved his worth during the game again Punjab.

Put into bat, Punjab’s in-form openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul started off really well. While Gayle took on Jaydev Unadkat for two consecutive sixes in the second over, he smashed a boundary and a maximum in the fifth over off Dhawal Kulkarni. To stop the run flow, captain Ajinkya Rahane gave the responsibility to Jofra Archer.

Archer’s first over went for mere 2 runs in the powerplay while he dismissed dangerous Chris Gayle in his second over for 30 off 22, including two boundaries and three sixes.

Rahane brought back Archer in the death overs. In the penultimate over, he first dismissed Nicholas Pooran in the third ball; when Pooran mistimed the ball which was a low full toss and ended up giving a catch to Rahane and went for mere 5.

Archer’s third victim was Mandeep Singh. Slower delivery from Archer trapped Singh before the stumps in the final ball of the over and he fell for a two-ball duck. Jofra Archer, thus, finished his four-over spell with a brilliant figure of 4-0-15-3.

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While Rajasthan’s other bowlers Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ish Sodhi and Jaydev Unadkat bowled with the economies of 7.75, 9.25, 10.25 and 12.00 respectively; Jofra Archer bowled at an economy of 3.75 which is rather amazing. His economical spells always help his side to restrict their opponents.

An all-round performance by Ravichandran Ashwin

Kings XI Punjab were put into bat where the opener Chris Gayle fell for a 22-ball 30 and another opener KL Rahul scored a rather slow half-century off 44 balls. They were not in a great position in the death overs as Jofra Archer picked up two wickets in the 19th over. Punjab at 164/5 in 19 overs when their captain Ravichandran Ashwin came to bat.

The final over started with the set batsman David Miller’s dismissal for 40 off 27. Ashwin faced the second delivery off Dhawal Kulkarni which went for a boundary through backward point. The next two deliveries went for singles. Ashwin smashed the fifth ball for a maximum which was a slower ball. He smashed another six in the final of the innings over fine leg and ended the innings on a high note. His 17 runs off four balls helped Punjab to a decent competitive total of 182/6 after 20 overs. 

Ashwin, not only with the bat but performed well with the ball also. Rajasthan Royals were scoring steadily when Ashwin came into the attack in the 12th over. He bowled Sanju Samson for 27 off 21 and later Rahul Tripathi in the 16th over; who fell just after scoring his first IPL fifty. 

Along with Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin also bowled well and both of them pulled the things back. They didn’t allow the batsmen for the big shots and that caused the increased required run-rate; which Rajasthan were not able to score and failed to register another win.

Stuart Binny’s quickfire 11-ball 33

Rajasthan started their run-chase in a great manner where in-form opener Joss Buttler’s quickfire knock helped them to put up 38 runs in first four overs. Later, a 59-run stand between Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi helped them to steady the ship. However, Ajinkya Rahane also scored 26 off 21. But, they were not able to finish the game for their side as they threw their wickets in the crucial moment.

Rajasthan required 50 runs in the final three overs when Mohammed Shami dismissed Jofra Archer for mere 1. Stuart Binny came to bat in the 18th over and hit a boundary through mid-wicket in the very first ball he faced off Shami. He smashed a maximum over the fine leg in the next delivery. He smashed two sixes off Arshdeep Singh in the penultimate over.

Binny scored a blitzy 33* off 11 but that was not enough for his team to win the game. Eventually, Punjab won the game by 12 runs.

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