Kings XI Punjab inspired by skipper Ravichandran Ashwin got back to their winning ways once again as they beat the struggling Rajasthan Royals by 12 runs at Mohali. The Kings won their fifth match and revived their play- off chances after two previous back- back losses.
Put into bat by Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane , Kings were anchored well by K L Rahul who scored 52 off 47 balls. Chris Gayle ( 30) , Mayank Agarwal ( 26) . David Miller ( 40 ) was involved in a 85 run third wicket stand with Rahul and gave the innings the momentum.
And in the last over Ravichandran Ashwin smashed an unbeaten cameo 17 off 4 balls to take Punjab to 182/ 6 . Ashwin hit two sixes and a four and this was crucial at the end result of the game.
Royals bowling figures were , Dhawal Kulkarni 1/ 37 ( 4 overs) , Jofra Archer was superb 3/ 15 ( 4 overs) Ish Sodhi 1/ 41 ( 4 overs) . Jaidev Unadkat once again flopped 1/ 48 ( 4 overs) bought at Rs 8. 4 crores, Unadkat has time and again let the Royals down with his expensive spells. Royals team management and skipper Rahane should share the blame for the flop show.
In reply the Royals struggled hgard to find the boundaries . Jos Buttler 23 off 17 showed intent but the rest were unable to match the run- rate. Rahul Tripathi scored a fifty but big hits eleuded him He scored 50 off 45 balls. Sanju Samson 27. Skipper Ajinkya Rhane was very slow unable to strike big hits and scored a disappointing 21 off 27 balls. The lack of urgency and intent hurt the Royals. Big hitting Aussie Ashton Turner was out without scoring. And with no Steve Smith and Ben Stokes, The Royals fell apart. Stuart Binny played blazing cameo towards the end . Unbeaten 33 off 11 balls with two fours and three sixes. It left many wondering why Binny was not promoted ahead. Royals finished at 168 / 7 in 20 overs.
The Kings were spot on with their bowling Ravichandran Ashwin was brilliant with 2/ 28. M Ashwin ( 1/ 24), Mohammed Shami 2/ 46 ( 4 overs) and young debutant Arshdeep Singh 2/ 43 ( 4 overs)
The win takes Punjab to fourth spot while the Royals it was their sixth loss in eight matches.