Kings XI Punjab reasserted their dominance at Mohali with a win over Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday to go level with Kolkata Knight Riders in the points table. Having made 182 after being put into bat, Kings XI had enough runs on the board to defend and did so as Rajasthan, sporting a different batting order, failed to garner firepower in the end.
Take a glance at some of the key moments from the match:
Moises Henriques’ unfortunate injury
The Kings XI Punjab huddle before the match involved handing over two new caps to debutants Arshdeep Singh and Moises Henriques. The Australian, a veteran T20 all-rounder who has played in the IPL before, was set to play his first match for Kings XI Punjab and even received his cap ahead of the match.
However, moments before the toss, the Australian’s debut hopes disappeared when he twisted his ankle and was carried off the field by two of his mates. The all-rounder was set to replace Sam Curran in the line-up as Ravichandran Ashwin later revealed at the toss but the injury meant they had to bring in David Miller.
Jofra Archer vs Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle had got off to his customary sedate start at Mohali. That said, when Jaydev Unadkat dished out a juicy short ball in the second over, Gayle went for an impulsive pull shot but miscued the shot which brought deep square leg into play.
Jofra Archer was, however, standing some way inside the ropes and had to go backwards to complete the catch. He misjudged it completely and conceded six runs in the process.
Two overs later, Archer was into the attack himself and in his second over, was left fuming after Sanju Samson fumbled and conceded four byes with Gayle being beaten on the edge. Steaming in next ball, Archer found Gayle’s edge through to the keeper and celebrated the wicket of the Universe Boss.
The on-field umpire spots a front foot no-ball off a wicket-ball
In the 17th over of the innings, Archer, Rajasthan’s strike bowler until then, came around the wicket and cleaned up David Miller with a pacy delivery on the stumps. However, drama unfolded as the umpire signalled a front foot no-ball almost immediately.
This IPL, the umpires had landed in a soup for not being alert enough for front foot no-balls. In fact, checking for a no-ball after a wicket has become so much of a norm that umpires often ignore the front foot of the bowler.
This time around, though, the umpire got the call spot on and Archer had to bowl a free hit delivery. He salvaged himself with a good yorker off the free hit and was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers, taking 3/15.
Ashwin adds the finishing touch
With Sam Curran and Sarfaraz Khan absent and guys like Miller and Mandeep Singh back in the hut, the skipper, Ashwin, took it upon himself to give Kings XI Punjab a late boost in their innings that had lost track in the middle overs. Kings XI lost four wickets in the space of 13 balls and the onus was on the skipper to showcase his batting talents.
Ashwin crunched the first ball he faced past point for a boundary in the final over. Off the penultimate ball of the innings, he picked Kulkarni’s slower variation and sent the ball into orbit with a massive swipe across the line. Next ball, he was walking across the stumps, having predicted the yorker, and scooped the low full toss over fine-leg for another maximum. In four balls, Ashwin added 17 runs and took Punjab to an above par score. In hindsight, his cameo proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Stuart Binny’s cameo
Stuart Binny was recalled to the starting XI in place of Krishnappa Gowtham despite both captains agreeing that the pitch was on the slower side. Binny did not bowl either which made his inclusion even more bizarre until he walked in to bat with Rajasthan needing 50 runs from 17 balls.
The seam bowling all-rounder smashed his first ball for a four off Mohammad Shami and followed it up with a six next delivery to move to 10 in two balls. In the next over, Binny took on Arshdeep Singh and hit him for two sixes in three balls. The cameo brought the equation down to 23 runs needed off the final over and though Binny scored 10 of those runs himself, it was too high an ask in the end to take Rajasthan over the line. However, he did give a pretty good account of what he is capable of with an enticing 11-ball 33.