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IPL 2019: KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin guide Kings XI Punjab to victory over Rajasthan Royals

Ravichandran Ashwin and opener KL Rahul played pivotal roles as Kings XI Punjab produced a superb all-round performance to script a comfortable 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals.

cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2019 08:24 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Mohali
IPL 2019,KL Rahul,Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (C) walks with teammates including Arshdeep Singh (C/L) after victory.(AFP)

Kings XI Punjab completed a double over Rajasthan Royals, defeating the winners of the inaugural IPL edition 12 runs in a game that was pretty much in control of the hosts in the final stages in Mohali on Tuesday.

Opener KL Rahul struck a patient 47-ball 52 and batsmen contributed down the order as Kings XI Punjab scored 182/6. In reply, Royals were restricted to 170/7. The 19th over bowled by left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh produced 14 runs, but saw skipper Ajinkya Rahane (26 – 21b, 1x4) caught after a subdued innings.

Stuart Binny (33 no – 11b, 1x4, 3x6) hit two sixes in that over, but Mohammed Shami bowling a final over with Royals needing 23 runs can only end one way and it did as only 10 runs were scored. Aussie Ashton Turner, making his IPL debut, fell for zero.

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The hosts managed a solid total due to David Miller’s 40 and a four-ball 17 not out by skipper Ravichandran Ashwin.

Asked to bat, Chris Gayle and Rahul raised 38 runs before the former’s dismissal. Gayle, who made 99 runs in the last KXIP match in Mohali, got the team off to a blazing start as he hit a 22-ball 30 (2x4, 3x6). He was caught behind off Jofra Archer, making it 38/1 in the sixth over.

Mayank Agarwal smashed a 12-ball 26. Playing his first match of the season, New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi removed Agarwal, which brought in Miller (40). Rahul pressed the accelerator and with Miller raised 85 runs off 52 balls for the third wicket.

Miller’s 40 (27b - 2x4, 2x6) gave impetus to the total. Rahul fell to Jaydev Unadkat in the 18th over, but Ashwin’s cameo ensured Kings XI had enough runs on the board. Royals pacer Archer took 3/15.

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Making his debut in IPL, Chandigarh-based Arshdeep picked his first wicket, Jos Buttler’s leading edge soaring with wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran completing a running catch. Buttler, involved in the ‘Mankading’ row with Ashwin in their previous meeting, made 23. Kings XI leg-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman injured his shoulder and had to leave the ground.

Royals made three changes to the side that beat Mumbai Indians, dropping Steve Smith and Liam Livingstone as well as off-spinner K Gowtham, including all-rounder Stuart Binny, Ish Sodhi and giving Aussie batsman Ashton Turner his IPL debut. KXIP dropped Sam Curran, Sarfaraz Khan and Andrew Tye, including Miller, Mujeeb and Arshdeep.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 00:09 IST