Stokes and Samson combine to make KXIP's Gayle's 99 go in vain!
Galatta | Oct 31, 2020, 12:04 am
The misfiring Rajasthan Royals, who are fresh off a win but languishing at 6th place on the Points Table, took on the 4th placed Kings XI Punjab, who are on a winning streak of 5 matches! Steven Smith won the toss and asked KXIP to bat first. Varun Aaron replaced Ankit Rajpoot for Rajasthan, while KXIP played unchanged. KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh walked out to open and RR drew first blood when Archer had Mandeep fending a bouncer, only to see Stokes complete a magnificent catch to take KXIP's first Wicket! Gayle walked in to join Rahul and seemed like he had never left off from his last outing on the pitch. No bowler troubled him and he was making runs with ease. By the end of the Powerplay, KXIP had gotten 53/1! Both batsmen put up a steady stand with Gayle being the aggressor and getting to his 3rd 50 in 6 matches, in the 11th over itself. Unfortunately for KXIP, even after not losing any more Wickets to Archer, Rahul fell to Stokes on 46. Pooran and Gayle were having a very good stand when Stokes returned to take out Pooran in the 18th over.
Gayle reached the record of 1000 sixers in T20s after hitting one off Kartik Tyagi in the 19th over. He hit one more and moved to 99, before unfortunately being bowled by Archer and earning the unfortunate record of being the only player to have two 99s in the IPL. Archer completed a tight spell to restrict KXIP to 185/4, a total they would have definitely been pleased with. RR needed 186 to win and needed one of their top 3 players to play a big innings! There was no change in the batting order and Stokes walked out to bat with Uthappa and started off their innings positively with 9 runs off the 1st over. Shami did not get off to a good start and gave away 12 runs off his first over. Stokes showed good intent and seemed to continue from the century he had gotten in his last match. He carted the 4th over for 16 runs to notch up 54/0 for RR, in 6.0 Overs! Unfortunately, Stokes fell immediately after reaching 50, in the 3rd ball of the 7th Over!
Samson joined Uthappa and the two batsmen took on the KXIP bowlers with intent. By the end of 10 overs, RR needed just 83 more runs from their remaining 10. Uthappa tonked Murugan Ashwin for a 6 in the 11th over but was out off the very next ball. Captain Steven Smith and Samson did not waste time and kept the momentum going with atleast 1 boundary in each over. Unfortunately for Samson, a freak thrown from substitute Suchith at cover point, got him run-out for 48! This brought out the dangerous Buttler to the crease and he sent a Jordan delivery sailing for a 6. Shami came on to bowl the 17th over, with RR needing just 30 runs off 24 balls! Smith took a particular liking to Shami in this over and whacked him for 3 fours, a 2 and a single before Buttler hit another 4. The over cost 19 runs and RR needed just 11 more runs to win. However, a couple of wides, a 6, 2 runs and a single later, RR had cruised to a victory by 7 wickets, with 15 balls to spare! Their Net Run Rate has gotten a good boost and they are still having a chance to qualify for the Playoffs! Ben Stokes was awarded the Player of the Match for his all-round performance of a half-century and 2 Wickets!