IPL 2019: KL Rahul did not come good with the bat but made up for it with a game-changing catch to dismiss Steve Smith for 19 off 16 balls. He departed at a stage when he held the key for the Royals in the 184 chase. He was sent packing in the 18th over of the match and since his departure, the Royals crumbled. It was the brilliance of the catch that stunned everyone. It was a full and angling away delivery from Sam Currant to Smith outside off. Smith went for the lofted hit over extra cover but ended up skewing it off the cue end. KL Rahul from long-off covered a lot of miles to his left and never lost the sight of the ball, dived full length and caught it air-borne with two hands.
Meanwhile, KXIP won the match by 14 runs. Chris Gayle will take a lot of credit for setting up the win with a breathtaking 79 off 47 balls.
“I thought we were batting really well. We started off well at the top and then got another good partnership. Later on we needed 39 off 4 overs and we thought that could have been done easily. But KXIP bowled really well in the last three overs. We are not supposed to comment on a controversial issue. The match referee will take the call. We will take the decision sportively. When you are chasing 180 plus, someone has to go really hard. Definitely, Jofra bowled really well. He was good for us in the last season as well. Jos, we all know how dangerous he is,” said Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane.
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