The 50th match of the 13th season of the Indian Premier League was played between Kings XI Punjab (KXIP0) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Abu Dhabi in which Steve Smith led side won the match by seven wickets.
Earlier in the match, Royals’ captain Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bowl first. Kings XI Punjab, batting first, scored 185 runs, losing 4 wickets in 20 overs thanks to Chris Gayle’s innings of 99 runs.
Steve Smith led side, chasing 186, easily won the match by losing 3 wickets in 17.3 overs. Following this victory, the Royals’ has moved to fifth spot in the points table with 12 points.
Ben Stokes gave his team a good start and was dismissed for a quick 50 off 26 balls. Ben was dismissed by Chris Jordan to Deepak Hooda. Robin Uthappa smashed 30 and was dismissed by Murgan Ashwin. Sanju Samson was run out after scoring 48 runs. After this, Captain Steve Smith scored an unbeaten 31 runs while Jos Butler scored an unbeaten 22 to lead his team to victory.
After losing the toss and batting first, the Punjab based franchise got its first blow in the very first over when Mandeep Singh was dismissed without opening the account. This was followed by a 50-plus partnership in 5 overs between captain KL Rahul and Chris Gayle. Gayle and KL also shared a fast 100-run partnership. Meanwhile, Chris Gayle hit a third half-century of IPL 2020 for KXIP. Gayle scored a half-century in just 33 balls with the help of 4 fours and 4 sixes.
Punjab received the second blow in the form of KL Rahul, who was dismissed after playing a inning of 46 runs. He was caught out by Ben Stokes at the hands of Rahul Tewatia. The third shock came in the form of Nicholas Pooran, who scored 22 runs, caught by Rahul Tewatia off Ben Stokes. Chris Gayle was dismissed for 99 runs in 63 balls in this match. He was clean bowled by Jofra Archer. Maxwell remained unbeaten with 6 runs and Deepak Hooda with one run.
Winning Skipper, Steve Smith’s Reaction:
“Ebbed and flowed. But would have been great to win a few in the middle. But it is about peaking at the right time. We still need to do our bit, We have different plans as to who goes in after who gets out. Gave Buttler a chance to bat at number 5. Nice to get over the line comfortably. Helps the NRR. The last two games he has been exceptional. Has good innovation, Hits the ball in weird areas. He is a valauble player. One of the best in the world. You are always talking to players and try to get the best of them. We know if he spends time in the middle, he will come good. Couple of games tomorrow, we will be matching them closely and then good to go day after.”
Losing Skipper, KL Rahul’s Reaction:
“It was a horrible toss to lose with the amount of dew later on. It did get very very easy to bat on. The wristspinners want the ball to be dry and get some grip off the surface but with the dew it got really difficult. On a sticky wicket, as it was when we batted, this was not a bad total. We didn’t bowl badly, but we need to learn to bowl better with the wet ball. The dew has been unpredictable. We spoke to the groundsman, and he said there was no dew last game. You can’t prepare for it, but you have to be able to adapt to that. It has been the kind of season where nothing has come easy. We have had to work hard for every point. No surprise that it has come down to the last game.”
Player of the Match, Ben Stokes’ Reaction:
“I think when you are in a position like we are, you have nothing to lose. We are still hanging in. That is pleasing. The sixes are always pleasing. I went in the same mentality like I did against MI. Wanted to go hard with the new ball. We had a decent break from the last game. It’s that shot you don’t expect to go to the boundary, that sort of a short gives me confidence and gives the feeling it’s going to be a good outing. We normally have a quick turnaround. I cut down on the bowling part in the break to remain fresh.”