When Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals clash at the PCA stadium for the second time in this season’s IPL, their fixture earlier in the tournament and the ‘Mankad’ incident between Ashwin and Jos Buttler will still be fresh in memory. While Kings XI sit in fifth spot, Royals are seventh, and both teams will be hoping to climb up the table with a win.
Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have competed in some intense battles over the years. Here, we take a look at the last five clashes between the two sides in the IPL.
The moment. The ‘Mankad’. Kings XI’s encounter against Rajasthan Royals provided an early flashpoint in the league this year when Ravichandran Ashwin’s decision to ‘Mankad’ Royals’ Jos Buttler (who was making light work of a chase of 185) caused much consternation among the cricketing community.
It was Chris Gayle’s 79 and Sarfaraz Khan’s 49* which propelled Kings XI to the competitive target in the first place. However, at 108/1 in the 13th over, Ashwin got Buttler out and the Royals never recovered from that point, losing their collective heads and falling 14 runs short for the loss of nine wickets. The incident will certainly add some spice to the contest when the two sides meet again this time at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
Jos Buttler has grown to be a talisman for Rajasthan Royals, and this match – the second of two matches against Kings XI within the space of two days – proved to be another instance when he delivered a man of the match performance for his team as the Royals went on to win by 15 runs.
His 82 off 58 balls in the first innings helped the Royals to a score of 158/8 while there were no other notable contributions from the other batsmen. But the story turned out to be even more disappointing for Kings XI at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, as barring KL Rahul’s 70 ball 95, no only one other batsman managed to reach double figures (Marcus Stoinis with 11 runs at number 10). Kings XI managed 143/7 in 20 overs, and Royals came over the line by 15 runs.
Buttler showed his class at the top of the order once again as losing the toss and being put in to bat first, Rajasthan Royals managed 152/9 off their 20 overs. The Englishman scored 51 off 39 balls opening the innings, and the cause was helped by quick cameos courtesy Sanju Samson and Shreyas Gopal.
But Kings XI, marshalled by the classy Rahul were never uncomfortable during the run-chase at any point. Anureet Singh, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes were dominated by the Indian batsman, and he remained not out on 84 off 54 balls to help take his side to victory at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
One of the most thrilling IPL matches in recent memory, Royals were coming into the match with some solid form behind them, not having lost a game in the league up until this point. Played at Motera, Rajasthan Royals made 191/6 after being put in to bat first by Kings XI. Rahane and Watson’s 95-run stand for the first wicket was the foundation upon which Royals built the rest of their innings and ended with a challenging total.
Even though Kings XI lost the early wickets of Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag in the second innings, they recovered well, with David Miller taking over the reigns of the innings and hitting a 30-ball 54. If his departure in the 18th over with the score at 166 served a warning sign, Axar Patel and Mitchell Johnson’s heroics meant that Punjab managed to tie the game off the last ball of the innings.
What followed was a super over where Punjab batted first, David Miller and Shaun Marsh taking strike. Fifteen runs came off the over, and it was over to Mitchell Johnson with the ball on this occasion, cleaning up Shane Watson off the very first ball of the over. Even though Steve Smith managed to hit a boundary off a no-ball, Faulkner was later run-out and the Royals could not recover to make up the deficit, falling short of the super over target by 10 runs.
April 10th 2015, Royals won by 26 runs
James Faulkner’ performance with both bat and ball clinched this match by 26 runs for the Rajasthan Royals, as he was instrumental in first getting his side to a total of 162/7 as the highest scorer with 46 off 33 balls, and then picked up three wickets in the second innings.
Chasing 163, Sehwag was out for a first ball duck by Tim Southee, and Punjab never recovered from that point. None of the batsmen crossed the 40-run mark, and they managed 136/8 in reply, with Faulkner picking up the crucial wickets of Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey and being declared man of the match.