Jaipur, march 25
Chris Gayle hit a belligerent half-century as Kings XI Punjab registered a convincing 14-run win over Rajasthan Royals in their controversial IPL opener.
Gayle scored 79 off 47 balls and hit eight boundaries and four sixes. Young Sarfaraz Khan (46 not out) also played a good hand late in the innings to help Kings XI post 184/4 after being sent in to bat.
Chasing the stiff target, Jos Buttler (69) and skipper Ajinkya Rahane (27) got Rajasthan off to a brisk start, dealing in boundaries and sixes to pile up 64 runs in the first six overs. Buttler struck eight boundaries and two hits over the fence to notch up his fifty in just 29 balls. Buttler and Rahane shared 78 runs for the opening stand before the Rajasthan skipper was cleaned up by his Kings XI counterpart Ravichandran Ashwin.
Buttler was going strong in the company of Sanju Samson (30) as the duo batted sensibly to keep Rajasthan in the hunt. But just when it seemed Kings XI were running out of ideas, skipper Ashwin did the unthinkable as Buttler became the first victim of 'Mankading' in the history of IPL.
In the 13th over, with Rajasthan at 108/1, Ashwin ran Buttler out at the non-striker’s end just before delivering the ball. At that stage, Buttler was going strong at 69 off 43 balls. The dismissal is sure to raise fresh debate over the spirit of the game as Ashwin didn't give the Englishman a prior warning.
As expected, Buttler seemed furious and had a heated exchange with Ashwin before leaving the field after the third umpire ruled him out. That dismissal completely changed the complexion of the match as Steve Smith, Samson, Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi departed in quick succession in search of quick runs.
From there on, it proved to be an uphill task for Rajasthan as they needed 27 off the last two overs with six wickets down. — PTI
2 Jos Buttler has been Mankaded second time in his playing career. Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake ran Buttler out in the same fashion during the fifth ODI in 2014 but after giving a warning