IPL 2019: Kings XI Punjab defeats Rajasthan Royals - As it happened

Tune in for live commentary and updates from tonight's Indian Premier League encounter between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab being played at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur.

Kings XI Punjab Ashwin Mankad Rajasthan Royals

Kings XI Punjab beat Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs.   -  IPL/SPORTZPICS

Good evening and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab being played at the Sawai Mansingh stadium.

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That's the end of the coverage on this encounter. Please do join us for the 'big one' in Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings tomorrow. It's Rishabh Pant vs MS Dhoni!  Good night.

Kings XI skipper Ashwin on the 'Mankad': "No argument to that, it was pretty instinctive. I didn't even load and he (Buttler) left the crease. It has always been my take on it, because it's my half of the crease. We ended on the right side of it but those things are game-changers and batsmen need to be wary of it."

RR captain Rahane on the 'Mankad' incident: "Sadly, we are not allowed to comment on the controversial decision. We will take the decision sportingly."

◙ Royals collapse in the chase as Kings XI script a thrilling comeback win. The talking point will be the run-out of Buttler affected by Ashwin. RR 170/9 after 20 overs

◙ Rajpoot gets in on the double-wicket act now! He has Jaydev Undakat and Krishnappa Gowtham out going for big hits, Kings XI just a wicket away from a superb win!

◙ A mix-up in the middle between Archer and Gowtham and Shami picks up the ball to run out the former. The game should be Kings XI's now. Royals need 21 from the last over. RR 164/7 after 19 overs.

The Ashwin 'Mankad' incident didn't go down too well among certain section of the followers. Here are the reactions from Twitter.

◙ Stokes lasts just two balls. Bludgeons Mujeeb for a six before picking out the fielder at long-on! Tripathi, too, departs going for the big one. He hits it stright to Ashwin at long-on. RR 158/6 after 18 overs.

◙  KL Rahul, you beauty! Steve Smith has to go after he slices the ball between the long off and cover region but the Indian sprints over 50 yards, puts in a dive to pluck the catch.  One brings two! Sam Curran turns the tide in Punjab's favour with the wicket of Sanju Samson now, who skies the ball to Ashwin at cover.  RR 150/4 after 17 overs.

◙ And what a way to announce his arrival! A flick is all the Aussie needs to dispatch Curran deep into the stands behind deep square leg. Impeccable timing! Rajasthan Royals requires 40 runs with eight wickets and 25 balls remaining. RR 146/2 after 16 overs.

◙ Buttler's brilliant innings is cut short courtesy a mankad. Ashwin pauses before his delivery stride and takes the bails off with the Englishman still out of his crease. Quite a contentious decision from the third-umpire that, but Buttler has to depart. RR loses a wicket against the run of play. Steve Smith is the next man in! RR 110/2 after 13 overs.

◙ Buttler gets to his sixth half-century for the Royals with a boundary off Rajpoot. However, Ashwin breaks the 78-run opening stand by cleaning up his counterpart Rahane with a carrom ball. That should give Punjab some breathing space. RR 83/1 after 9 overs.

◙ Buttler and Rahane are taking apart the Punjab bowlers, one at a time. Buttler first tonks a boundary and a six off Mujeeb before collecting 19 off England team-mate Sam Curran's over. Royals eating away at the deficit in double qucik time. RR 64/0 after 6 overs.

◙ Leg-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman is welcomed with a boundary to fine-leg; a gentle delivery on the pads is put away by Buttler. The England keeper-batsman then dispatches Mohammed Shami to mid-off for his second boundary before scooping a short of a length ball over short fine leg for four. RR 27/0 after 3 overs.

◙ Rahane opens his account with a delectable straight drive off Sam Curran, who is guilty of pitching the ball up just outside the off-stump. The Royals skipper then strikes two back-to-back boundaries — one toward off-side and another over long-off — to finish the first over on a high. RR 12/1 after 1 over.

Welcome back: Buttler and Rahane to open the innings, Sam Curran with the new ball.

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INNINGS BREAK: Chris Gayle's blitzkrieg at the top of the order has propelled Punjab to a competitive total. The Caribbean left-hander looked set for a century before being caught in the deep trying to up the ante. Gayle's dismissal swayed the momentum, albeit briefly, in Rajasthan's favour. The host side has managed to keep Punjab under 200. Sarfraz Khan remained unbeaten on a quick-fire 46 off 29 balls; Ben Stokes returned figures of two for 48. Rajasthan needs 185 to win.

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◙ GONE! No 100 for Chris Gayle as he is caught in the deep by Rahul Tripathi; Ben Stokes with the breakthrough. The England all-rounder has the last laugh after being tonked around for 18 runs off the previous four deliveries. Gayle had added 84 for the third-wicket with Sarfraz. BIG MOMENT IN THE MATCH. KXIP 145/3 after 16 overs.

Rahul Tripathi took a sharp catch in the deep to get rid of Gayle.   -  ipl

 

 

◙ Sarfraz Khan steps on the gas, hammers two back-to-back boundaries off Gowtham while Gayle continues his assault at the other end. The southpaw has collected a six off RR's most economical bowler so far, Jofra Archer. Ominous signs these. KXIP 115/2 after 14 overs.

Talk about annoucing your arrival! Chris Gayle reaches his 25th IPL fifty with a maximum off Jaydev Unadkat but not before he had creamed three successive boundaries off the left-arm seamer. An expensive over that for the Royals and Punjab has stepped foot on the pedal. KXIP 94/2 after 12 overs.

◙ And Gowtham takes his revenge, has Agarwal caught by Kulkarni who completes a sharp catch near the ropes. Just as the partnership was gaining momentum, the Royals have struck. Agarwal departs for 22. Sarfraz Khan is the new batsman in. KXIP 61/2 after 9 overs.

◙ Mayank Agarwal had a poor run of form in the just concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali before a fifty in the final against Maharashtra propped up the numbers for him. He has looked good so far, looking to go after the Royals attack instead of seeing off the new ball. That said, the dual paced nature of the pitch has surprised him and Gayle on the odd occasion. KXIP 32/1 after 6 overs.

◙ Mayank Agarwal welcomes state team-mate K Gowtham with a maximum over long-off. Meanwhile, Gayle has looked edgy but inched closer to 4,000 IPL runs with a powerful drive off Kulkarni before reaching the landmark with a single. KXIP 21/1 after 3 overs.

◙ KL Rahul gets off the mark with a delightful cover-drive off Kulkarni before getting a thick outside edge to the right of the 'keeper who takes a fine diving catch. Rahul's poor run of form continues. KXIP 6/1 after 1 over.

Chris Gayle and KL Rahul to open the innings for Kings XI; Dhawal Kulkarni with the new ball.

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TOSS UPDATE: Rahane wins the toss and Rajasthan Royals will bowl first.

 

Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul(w), Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot

Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Ajinkya Rahane(c), Jos Buttler(w), Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Krishnappa Gowtham, Rahul Tripathi, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni

 

Ajinkya Rahane: It's important to start well, and the preparation that we have had has been fantastic. We need to start well, get some momentum, and stay in the moment."

Ravi Ashwin: "We have new recruits in the side, lots of young talent. I don't think the wicket will change much, but we were also looking to bowl first. As far as this bunch goes, they are very keen, and there is no baggage from the past."

 

◙ Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer will be the four overseas players for the Royals.

◙ Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Sam Curran and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be the overseas cricketers for Kings XI.

Meanwhile, some bad news coming in from Mumbai.

 

PITCH REPORT: "It's a two-paced pitch. There are some dry areas and then there's a smattering of grass. That said, in places like Jaipur, the pitch can look worse than it actually is. I feel it'll be a good wicket to bat on," reckons Michael Clarke.

 

◙ Chris Gayle hit a record-breaking 39 sixes in the one-day series against England. How many will he hit tonight?

 

Send 'em flying to Jamaica?   -  VIVEK BENDRE

 

◙ Who among the Royals will stand out tonight? Rahane, Smith with the bat? Or K. Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal with the ball? What do you reckon?

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◙ "If we don’t make the play-offs, they will probably be underachieving, given the squad they have." Rajasthan Royals brand ambassador and spin legend, Shane Warne, on everything IPL, Steve Smith's return and Australia's chances in the upcoming World Cup in a chat with Shayan Acharya | Shane Warne... shining in many roles for Royals!

Shane Warne led Rajasthan Royals to trophy triumph in the inaugural IPL in 2008. From that time he has been closely connected with the franchise.   -  K. Murali Kumar

 

 

Cricket is in the air in the ancient, royal city of Jaipur. Bolstered by the return of Steve Smith, Rajasthan Royals hosts a Kings XI Punjab team with a strong, versatile bowling attack. Here's P. K. Ajith Kumar's preview of this evening's contest:

Royal battle on the cards as Rajasthan, Punjab begin campaign

Cricket is in the air in this ancient, royal city.

The men in pink greet you from the billboards inside the airport. At the hotel lobby there is a replica of the cricket pitch – with stumps, bat and ball – right next to an idol of Lord Ganesha, the god of auspicious beginnings.

Some 10 minutes away is Sawai Mansingh Stadium, where host Rajasthan Royals will be looking forward to begin its campaign on a winning note in the 12th edition of the IPL as it takes on Kings XI Punjab on Monday.

Ajinkya Rahane’s men will be hoping history continues to favour them – they have never lost to the Kings at this venue. And they lead 10-7 head to head. 

Read: Kings XI to take advantage of Smith’s rustiness

The Royals had made it to the playoffs last year, and is looking even stronger now, with the return of Steve Smith -- who will be in focus after missing out last season following the ball-tampering controversy -- and the addition of fellow-Australian Ashton Turner. Neither of them will be available for the entire league though, owing to national duty.

Nor will be the best performer of the Royal last year -- Jos Buttler, who has to return home to England, along with all-rounder Ben Stokes. Ideally, the home side would want to score as many wins as possible at the beginning of the season when the big stars available and then identify its replacements later on.

RELATED| IPL 2019: Full coverage

Buttler leads a strong batting line-up that includes skipper Rahane, Smith, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi. Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas are part of a strong seam attack spearheaded by Stokes and Jofra Archer. K. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal would be the main spinners.

They, however, pale in comparison to Punjab's spin attack featuring captain R. Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the new, uncapped mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy. In Andrew Tye, who wore the leading wicket-taker’s purple cap last year, all-rounder Sam Curran, Mohammed Shami and Ankit Rajpoot, the seam attack has quality, too. As for runs, the Kings will want the crack opening duo of Chris Gayle and K.L. Rahul to continue from where they left off last year.

Kings XI Punjab (From): Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul(w), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Andrew Tye, Moises Henriques, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Sam Curran, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Varun Chakravarthy, Murugan Ashwin, Simran Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Ankit Rajpoot, Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar

Rajasthan Royals (From): Ajinkya Rahane(c), Steven Smith, Jos Buttler(w), Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ish Sodhi, Varun Aaron, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Shubham Ranjane, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Sudhesan Midhun, Aryaman Birla, Manan Vohra, Prashant Chopra