Bowling reigned supreme as basement team Rajasthan Royals set back the Kings XI Punjab’s playoff hopes with a 15-run victory in Jaipur.
Set a mediocre total of 159 to win, the Kings XI, who were in third place on the log with 12 points from nine matches, collapsed to an even more mediocre 143-7 in 20 laborious overs.
This must go down as one of the more bizarre games in the IPL. For the Rajasthan Royals, Joss Buttler scored 82 off 58 balls; the rest of the team scored 73 off 63. For the Kings XI, opener Lokesh Rahul scored 95 off 70 balls (11×4, 2×6) while his support was even more pathetic than the Royals’, contributing 41 off 51 balls.
The Royals probably owe their success to Krishnappa Gowtham’s off-spin, which crucially snapped up Chris Gayle when he charged down the wicket and missed, to be stumped for one. Two balls later, Ravi Ashwin was also on his way. Then Jofra Archer picked up Karun Nair for three. The Kings were seriously in trouble at 19-3.
From there, it was all downhill. The best score after Rahul was 11 by Marcus Stoinis.
Not that the Royals covered themselves in glory. They were 152-5 going into the last over (which, as things turned out, they didn’t need), but Australia paceman Andrew Tye snuffed out any hope of a last blast by taking three wickets, which gave him 4-34 for the match. After Buttler, the next best was 22 by Sanju Samson.
Among Tye’s victims was Ben Stokes, whose highest score in 10 IPL matches is 45, against Mumbai five games ago. Afghan off-break spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman picked up 2-21, including Buttler, whose 82 included just nine fours and a six.