IPL 2019: Ravichandran Ashwin wins it for Kings XI Punjab
Skipper's all-round show and opener Rahul's patient half-ton help KXIP beat RR by 12 runs
When an aggressive captain leads from the front, more often than not, it produces a positive result. Ravichandran Ashwin did exactly that by guiding KXIP to a much-needed win over Rajasthan Royals. First, he scored 17 runs off just four balls in last over to boost the team total to 182-6. He then picked up two crucial wickets and marshalled his resources well to help the hosts beat RR by 12 runs.
KXIP registered their fifth win in nine games to jump to fourth position in the points tally and remain firmly on track for the play-offs. On the other hand, RR's hopes are fast fading. Yesterday, RR just could not get their act together after they had done well to restrict the hosts to a manageable total. Dropping Steven Smith was also not a prudent move as his replacement Ashton Turner fell to the first ball he faced.
Earlier, when KXIP were asked to bat first, Chris Gayle looked in the mood till he was out-foxed by Jofra Archer. Mayank Agarwal too showed aggressive intent till he fell to Ish Sodhi. However, the slow and steady approach by KL Rahul meant that the scoring rate was always below par at the big-scoring, fast ground.
Rahul was just content to push the ball for singles earlier on. He did step up on the pedal and got to his half-century in 45 balls. But his approach put pressure on the batsmen who followed. The hosts lost wickets in a cluster but thanks to Ashwin, who showed in the final over how quick runs are to be collected, the team total was a good one. Ashwin hit Dhawal Kulkarni for two sixes and a four. Sadly, he had only four balls to prop up the total. but eventually, that mini-assault proved quite adequate.
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