Ben Stokes, once again played an all-round role to give his team an easy win in the end and keeping the hopes of the team alive to qualify for the playoffs. After winning the toss and opting to field first, Mr. Gayle spanked all RR bowlers over the park and hit his 1000th six, most in T20s (another T20 milestone), in a decorated innings of 99 runs. But the innings was overshadowed by strong performances from RR top five batsmen, topping them was Ben Stokes. The chase was done in the 18th over and KXIP winning-streak was ended.
The 50th match of IPL 2020. These are the times when each match for every team is of significant importance. KXIP were on a five-match winning-streak but lose on the day to a well-disciplined RR. After the win, RR climbed to the 5th spot on the table tying at twelve points with KXIP and KKR in a heated battle for the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab innings – Chris Gayle hit his 1000th T20 six
The injury of Mayank Agarwal meant he was not playing the crucial match for KXIP and that also meant that Mandeep Singh was opening the innings with KL Rahul. But things didn’t go that way as Singh must have hoped. He was out first ball in the first over by Jofra Archer. KXIP are 1-1 after the first over.
Then combined Rahul and Chris Gayle. The pair combined to score 120 runs in 82 balls. Gayle was the main aggressor. He ended his innings on 99 runs when he was castled by Jofra Archer in the final over of the innings.
Gayle innings was decorated with six fours and eight maximums. His six number seven was his 1000th six in his T20 career. The most by a batsman in T20s which is 310 best than his next compatriot, Kieron Pollard. An innings that was given two lives by RR fielders when he was at 4 and 50.
With little helps from Rahul and Nicholas Pooran, the score reached 185-4 in twenty overs.
Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes both picked two wickets each and the rest of the bowlers went wicketless.
Rajasthan Royals innings – Stokes gave RR a shot at the playoffs
Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes are now RR regular openers and they started the innings in style. It was Ben Stokes who carried his match-winning form from the MI match, in which he scored an unbeaten century, to lift his team and gave a brisk start.
Facing 26 from a total of 33 balls in the start of the innings, Stokes hit bowlers for six fours and three sixes in a quick-paced innings of 50 runs off just 26 balls. He was got out by Chris Jordan inside the powerplay.
Then come another in-form batsman, Sanju Samson, who also started from where Stokes left. Scoring at a quick rate, Samson was hitting fours and sixes too. Meanwhile, Uthappa was got out on 30 in the 11th over.
Steve Smith joined Samson who made 48 runs off just 25 balls with four fours and three sixes and by the 14th over, the required run-rate was just seven. By the time Samson was run out in getting an unnecessary single, Royals needed 41 runs off 34 balls, which was too easy for the likes of Steve Smith and Jos Buttler.
Smith and Buttler ended the innings with 31 and 22 runs respectively and keep the race for playoffs alive for RR. The innings was well started by Stokes and all the following batsmen played their part in the winning.
Murugan Ashwin and Chris Jordan picked one wicket each. Apart from Ravi Bishnoi, all the bowlers were expensive and conceded runs at more than 10 runs an over.
Ben Stokes, for his two wickets for 32 runs and 50 runs off 26 balls was the man of the match for the second time in as many matches.
Man of the Match: Ben Stokes
Result: Rajasthan Royals win by 7 wickets
Points: Rajasthan Royals 2, Kings XI Punjab 0