Here we take a look at the major talking points from KXIP’s 12-run victory on Tuesday night:
Miller cashes in on Henriques misfortune
Australia allrounder Moises Henriques was all set for his KXIP debut on Tuesday night. He was even handed his cap, but fate had other plans. During a training session minutes before the toss, he twisted his ankle, requiring the help of support staff to even walk. The home team was forced to make a last-minute change and David Miller replaced Henriques in the XI. The South African big-hitter made full use of the lucky break hitting 40 off 27 deliveries in the middle over to make up for the slowdown opener KL Rahul underwent during that phase.
Ashwin with the late flourish
KXIP had made a decent start. They were on a solid footing but, again, slowed down in the middle overs with Rahul failing to up the ante. Rahul did complete yet another fifty this season but reached the landmark in the 17th over, having eaten 45 deliveries. However, at 152/2 in 17 overs with a well-set batsman and Miller in the middle, the stage was set. But the two overs that followed saw KXIP lose three wickets for the addition of just 14 runs. In walked captain R Ashwin and he struck an unbeaten 17 off four deliveries that included a four and two consecutive sixes that propelled his team to a challenging total.
Debutant gets the prized scalp
The battle was long awaited. Ashwin and Jos Buttler gave rise of a red-hot debate following their involvement in ‘mankading’ earlier in the season. The contest ended before starting as a certain debutant named Arshdeep Singh put an end to Buttler inside the Powerplay giving RR an early blow. The 20-year-old pacer outfoxed him with an offcutter and a top-edge was well taken by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran who ran backward and dived to send back the Englishman on 23. Arshdeep would later account for Ajinkya Rahane as well to finish with figures of 2/43.
Ashwin makes the difference, again
After his cameo with the bat, Ashwin did the damage with his offspinners as well. At 97/1 in 11.3 overs, RR were well and truly in the contest, even slightly ahead with a well-set pair in Rahul Tripathi and Sanju Samson fuelling the chase. Ashwin changed the complexion, cleaning up Samson (27) with a carrom ball. RR’s innings underwent a slowdown of their own, trudging to 133/4 in 17 overs – that’s 36 runs in 33 deliveries. Ashwin finished with figures of 2/24 without conceding a single boundary.
Binny blitz gives hope
Stuart Binny gave RR a fiery reminder of his ability to change games. There’s a reason why he has played international cricket. He came to bat after RR’s chase went off track with a flurry of wickets including that of Ashton Turner and Jofra Archer who managed one run between them. Binny walked in to bat at No. 7 with 50 runs needed off 17 deliveries. Wasting no time, he punished a short delivery from Mohammed Shami towards midwicket for a four, followed that with a six before blasting two more off them in the followed over raise hopes in RR dug-out. They needed 23 from 6 but managed 10. Binny finished unbeaten on 33 off 11. Did RR missed a trick by batting him low?
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