It’s the 50th match of IPL 2020. KXIP goes up against the RR. The tournament is at a stage where every match is a big match with a big impact on that qualification scenario. Steve Smith won the toss for RR and decided to bowl first. RR made one change to their line up, Varun Aaron came in for Ankit Rajpoot. KXIP were unchanged following their five-match winning run.
RR hit KXIP with an early wicket
Archer gave RR a perfect start picking up the wicket of Mandeep Singh on the last ball of the first over. This is what RR would have wanted, to get Chris Gayle in early so that they can bowl pace at him because he has been really good against spin. RR looked to attack Gayle with short-pitched delivery, and the trick almost worked, but lack of communication meant Riyan Parag dropped Chirs Gayle in the fourth over.
RR mostly bowled mostly short-pitched throughout the powerplay. Other than that they have been too full or overpitched. Gayle and Rahul punished RR for this error in bowling, taking the score to 53 for 1 at the end of the powerplay.
RR gave Gayle another lifeline in the 11 over, this time again through a miscommunication. The bowler, Rahul Tewatia ran back in the direction of long-on and you could see from a wide shot that Stokes, who was running in and looked in a more natural catching position, pulled out; could either be because Tewatia called for it, or it was instinctive to avoid a collision. Whatever it was, Stokes might have had a better chance at getting two hands on that and it would have opened up a wicket chance as opposed to Tewatia diving backward and not getting a hand on it.
Gayle storm hits the RR
Gayle completed his third fifty in six-match with a six over long-on. Both Gayle continued to bat flawlessly taking the score 118 for 1 at the end of 14 overs.
Strokes dismissed Rahul in the 15 over for 46 runs. Pooran joined his West-Indian teammate in the middle. Pooran started with an explosive intent to his innings, hitting Aaron for two sixes in the 16th over.
Gayle continued to use his lifelines and move towards his century. At the end of 19th over KXIP were 176 for 3. Gayle on 90 from 60 balls. Archer came on to bowl the final over. Gayle smashed Archer for a six on the third ball taking his total to 99. With three balls left Gayle was all set for a well-deserved century. However, Archer had a different plan. A beautiful yorker and Gayle had to walk back to the pavilion for 99. KXIP finished for 185 for 4 after the end of 20 overs.
Strokes take RR off to a flier
It took seven games for Stokes to be match sharp, with the bat, ball, and in the field. And it’s come just in time for Rajasthan as they look to pull off a miracle at the back end of the tournament. Strokes completed his fifty in just 24 balls. RR was 54 for no loss after the end of the first 5 overs.
Just when it seemed that RR was cruising, they were dealt with their first blow of the innings. Strokes mistimed a shot straight to mid-off of the bowling of Jordan. Stroked was dismissed for a well-played 50 off 26. RR was 66 for 1 at the end of the powerplay.
RR continued with scoring boundaries after the powerplay. They were making sure the run-rate doesn’t increase in the powerplay. This was probably the reason why Samson came to bat ahead of Smith after the first wicket.
Uthappa was dismissed in the 11th over by M Ashwin. Uthappa who was looking for a slog sweep handed Pooran a catch at deep midwicket. Smith came out to bat at number 4. After the end of 14 overs, RR was 144 for 2 with just 42 required off 36 balls.
Just when everything was going smoothly for RR, a superb throw from substitute fielder J Suchith dismissed Samson, just 3 runs short of his half-century.
However, the wicket came in too late for the KXIP. Smith was joined by Buttler. Both the batsmen easily completed the task at hand.
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