IPL 2020: Rajasthan Royals hunt down the impossible for a historic 4 wicket win over Kings XI Punjab

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(pic courtesy: Rajasthan Royals Twitter)

Sharjah: A series of heart pumping moments & intensity throughout the evening at Sharjah culminated into a mouthwatering clash as it ended when Rajasthan Royals defeated Kings XI Punjab by 4 wickets. The Royals hunted down the greatest run chase in the history of the India Premier League.

Chasing a mammoth 223/2, the Royals started well getting 19 off the first two overs but got hit when opener Jos buttler went cheaply as he whipped one away of a Sheldon Cottrell delivery through the on-side but found Sarfaraz Khan who took a sharp catch.

But skipper Steve Smith had other ideas. He along with Sanju Samson put on a show as they went after the Punjab bowling hammering them while making 69 runs in the powerplay. But they weren’t going stop. Sanju again showed why he is such a talented batsman attacking everyone and hitting them out of the park with Smith joining the party as well. Moment of brilliance came when Samson’s shot of Murugan Ashwin’s delivery was reaching over the fence but Nicolas Pooran went for an acrobatic effort catching the ball while being in the air over the boundary line and then throwing it back into the game in a matter of milliseconds.

Smith brought up a rapid half century of 26 balls but soon got dismissed going for big hit of James Neesham delivery shuffling across the stumps but sliced it in the air to Shami who made no mistake with the catch.

The game got turned around after that when Royals send Rahul Tewatia out in middle as a pinch hitter but he really struggled at the start with Punjab’s young leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi who went for 22 in his first two coming back strongly causing problem to him. Tewatia managed just 8 runs in first 19 balls.

With the asking rate going up, Sanju decided to break the shackles smacking all around the park while bringing up another fifty and was looking to take the game but got chasing a Shami delivery only to be caught behind by KL Rahul behind the stumps for a well made 85 runs of 42 balls. It looked like all over for the Royals as the asking rate was over 17 in the remaining three overs.

But then Rahul Tewatia made a stunning comeback in the game in a swash buckling fashion smacking Cottrell for five sixes in an over making everyone aware of his power hitting ability. With 21 runs needed in the last two overs and the ever reliable Shami to bowl the 19th over it seemed that Kings XI still had chance but the day belonged to the Royals. Uthappa got out in first ball of over after which Jofra Archer came who was already known for using the long handle and he delivered again hitting Shami out of the park for two sixes making sure Royals came close to the finish line. In the last over, Tom Curran kept his nerve to carve one for four runs to seal a historic win.

Earlier in the match, Steve Smith won the toss and choose to bowl first. Kings XI were off to a flyer as both the openers KL Rahul and his Karnataka teammate Mayank Agarwal started smashing the white ball all around the park from the outset. Rahul went after the Royals’ bowling talisman Jofra Archer hitting him for three boundaries on the go. The “Kannada” pair added 183 in just 16.3 overs, the second highest opening partnership for Punjab overall in IPL.

It was evident Mayank would not stop until after reaching a big score and he did, scoring his hundred off 45 balls. He couldn’t last longer as he went for a big hit but mistimed it straight to Samson on the mid-on for 106. Rahul went shortly after that adding valuable 69 off 54 following his last match century. Hard hitting Nicolas Pooran made sure the scoreboard ticked well till the end scoring a quick fire 25 off 8 to take it to 223.

Royals at the end did the unthinkable making a match to remember and got to the second position on the table behind Delhi Capitals.

Brief Scores:

Rajasthan Royals won the Toss and chose to field 

Kings XI Punjab:

Mayank Agarwal: 105 (50), KL Rahul: 69 (54)

Ankit Rajpoot: 4-0-39-1

Rajasthan Royals: 

Sanju Samson: 85 (42), Rahul Tewatia 53 (31)

Mohammad Shami: 4-0-53-3 

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