WOW! What a game of cricket we have witnessed here! A record breaking chase and it was a game not for the faint hearted. Rajasthan have done it again. They surprised the mighty Chennai in the last game and tonight they have chased down the highest ever total chasd in this league. Take a bow, Steven Smith. Take a bow, Sanju Samson but just give a big salute to Rahul Tewatia. He might have had a lot of Rajasthan's fans heads scratching in anger in the middle but towards the end he has become their superhero, their messiah, their latest darling!
Chasing a humongous total of 224, Rajasthan got off to a poor start as they lost their star Jos Buttler early in the innings. Steven Smith and Sanju Samson continued from where they left off. The duo added 81 runs between them with the skipper getting to his fifty but falling prey. Rajasthan threw a surprise as they sent Rahul Tewatia ahead of Robin Uthappa. Sanju Samson continued his outlandish form and kept Rajasthan in the chase. He though was not getting any support from the other end as Rahul Tewatia was struggling to find the middle of the bat.
Samson's 85 though kept the glimmer of hope alive but once he departed it looked like the hopes of a Rajasthan win also went away with him. Tewatia though turned the tide and boy did he turn the tie away in some manner. From stuttering at 8 off 19 balls, Tewatia unleashed the punster inside of him and it was Cottrell who brunt the heat. He hit 5 sixes off Cottrell's over and finished the game with 53 off 31 balls. That along with Archer's cameo and Tom Curran's one ball boundary helped Rajasthan create history.
Well, it was a terrible day for the bowlers and an even worse one for Punjab bowlers. They were abysmal with their lines and length and were rightfully punished. Apart from Bishnoi none of the frontline bowlers will be happy with their effort. Shami got 3 but he was expensive going away for 53 in his 4. Neesham went for 40, Maxwell gave away 29 from his 3 overs. Cottrell did not even bowl his full 4 overs as he was spanked all over the park by Tewatia in his final over in which he was hit for 5 maximums that will hurt him for a few days. All in all it was a miserable bowling performance from Punjab.
Earlier in the evening, after being put to bat, Punjab's opener Mayank Agarwal put in a masterclass with his maiden centuy in the league. His 106 along with 69 from Rahul and an 8-ball 25 from Pooran took Punjab to a mammoth score of 223 which looked just about enough heading into the break but it did not prove to be the case. Just like Punjab's bowler later in the evening it was more of the same for Rajasthan's bowler as well as they also were punished in this small dimensional ground and the flat batting track. Rajpoot was the pick of the bowler for them picking up 1/39 from his 4.
Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): Mayank Agarwal, Lokesh Rahul(w/c), Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, James Neesham, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Steven Smith(c), Jos Buttler(w), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Rajpoot