IPL 2019: Gayle storm in Jaipur as Kings XI Punjab beat Rajasthan Royals
West Indian slams 47-ball 79 as Kings XI register 14-run win over Rajasthan Royals
Chris Gayle started his Indian Premier League campaign in grand style — with a 47-ball 79 as Kings XI Punjab posted a challenging 184-4 in 20 overs here yesterday. Hosts Rajasthan Royals were primed to chase the target with Jos Buttler going strong at one stage with 43-ball 69. However, his controversial dismissal sparked a collapse as Rajasthan Royals managed just 170-9 to lose by 14 runs.
Buttler and skipper Ajinkya Rahane provided Rajasthan Royals a dream start, putting on 78 for the first wicket. The opening duo took 64 runs in the Powerplay overs.
However, Kings XI Punjab skipper R Ashwin struck at the right time, dismissing Rahane for 27. Buttler continued hammering the KXIP bowlers and threatened to take the game away with his lusty blows.
Ashwin slammed for 'Mankading'
But the Englishman paid a heavy price for backing up too much as Ashwin 'Mankaded' Buttler in the 13th over without any hesitation. Ashwin appealed for a run out and managed to get the decision in his favour. The controversial dismissal set social media abuzz.
It sparked an immediate response from England's ODI skipper Eoin Morgan, who tweeted: "I can't believe what I'm seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that." Buttler's dismissal sparked a collapse as Rajasthan Royals lost their next four wickets for 10 runs. Earlier, opening the innings, Gayle started in an uncharacteristic fashion but grew in confidence as the innings progressed. He scored 79 off 47 balls and hit eight boundaries and four sixes in the process.
Besides Gayle, young Sarfaraz Khan (46 not out off 29 balls) also played a good hand. But Rajasthan's decision to bowl first on a two-paced wicket was bang on target as KL Rahul lasted just four balls before edging an outgoing Dhawal Kulkarni delivery to wicketkeeper Buttler, who took a brilliant one-handed catch. Gayle and Mayank Agarwal (22) then struggled to hit big shots against Kings XI's disciplined bowling as they garnered just 32 runs in the Powerplay overs.
The duo finally broke their shackles, hitting Jaydev Unadkat for a four and six to yield 13 runs of the bowler's opening over. Gayle then freed his arms again and hit Krishnappa Gowtham for a maximum in the first ball of the ninth over. But Gowtham broke the 54-run stand between Gayle and Agarwal after the latter holed out at long-off where Kulkarni was stationed.
Brought back into the attack in the 12th over, Unadkat was taken to the cleaners by Gayle as he hit the left-arm pacer for three consecutive fours and then a straight six over the bowler's head to bring up his fifty in 33 balls.
Unadkat's second over, that produced 17 runs, opened the floodgates for Kings XI as Sarfaraz too joined the party and together with Gayle punished the bad deliveries. After playing cautiously initially, Gayle went on a rampage, stood on his crease and clobbered Ben Stokes (2-48) for two boundaries and six before being holed out at midwicket fence by Rahul Tripathi in the fifth ball of the same over. Gayle and Sarfaraz added 84 runs for the third wicket and in the process, gave Kings XI the much-needed momentum.
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