Twitter Reactions: RR brings KXIP's winning streak to a halt in 'Royal Style'

Twitter Reactions: RR brings KXIP’s winning streak to a halt in ‘Royal Style’

While KXIP might have thought to claw their way back in, Steven Smith and Jos Buttler joined hands to take their team across the line.

Steve Smith and Jos Buttler
Steve Smith and Jos Buttler. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The 50th league fixture of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw the action unfold between the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Having won the toss, RR chose to field in what was a must-win affair for them. However, unlike their opponents, KXIP knew that a loss would not be curtains for them.

Going ahead unchanged, the Royals struck in the very first over as Jofra Archer made Mandeep Singh edge to Ben Stokes, whose full-length dive stamped a golden duck for the batsman. Although a similar story unfolded as Archer was left unsupported from the other end as Chris Gayle and KL Rahul kept the scoreboard moving briskly as they added 53 runs in the powerplay.

Gayle storm in Abu Dhabi

Skipper Rahul looked content playing second fiddle to the Universe Boss Gayle, who appeared unflustered and kept middling the ball in his brutal style en route racing off to a half-century and making things set for a big knock. After the early breakthrough, the Royals’ bowlers were torn apart by the Caribbean showstopper and the opponents did not manage a wicket until the pair added 121 runs for the second wicket. In the 14th over, Rahul (46 from 41), in trying to slog a slower length ball from Stokes, holed out to deep midwicket, where Rahul Tewatia made no mistake.

Joined by his countryman Nicholas Pooran (22 from 10), Gayle continued to massacre the bowlers and reached the incredible landmark of hitting 1000 sixes when he dispatched Kartik Tyagi over the leg-side boundary in the penultimate over. Another six in the last over, which was the 8th maximum in his blitzkrieg knock, took him to 99, although a searing yorker on the leg-stump by Jofra Archer denied Gayle a scintillating century, and made him the only man to possess two 99s in the IPL. On the back of his 63-ball 99-run knock, KXIP posted a highly competitive total of 185 for 4.

Rollicking start for the Royals

Coming to chase a daunting target, Ben Stokes went all guns blazing as he started toying with the Kings XI’s bowlers straight away. The dominance of Stokes’ early assault was evident, as while still in the powerplay, the Englishman got to himself a half-century; not to mention that his partner Robin Uthappa had scored only 9 until then. Giving some reason to his team to smile, Chris Jordan snapped Stokes (50 from 26) on the last ball of the powerplay, as he was trying to clear mid-off, only to fail to get the elevation and find Deepak Hooda’s hands.

Middle-order chips in for the Royals

Despite taking a wicket, KXIP found no relief as Sanju Samson came out with some belligerent intentions. While Uthappa looked slightly scratchy at the other end, Samson attacked with easing grace and took his team to 103/1 at the halfway mark. Just when Uthappa tried to shift gears, he swept Murugan Ashwin straight to Nicholas Pooran at deep midwicket leaving the Royals 111/2.

Samson (48 from 25) continued his hitting from the other end, although he ran himself out in the 15th over while trying to steal a quick single. While KXIP might have thought to claw their way back in, Steven Smith (31* from 20) and Jos Buttler (22* from 11) joined hands to ensure that they took their team across the line with 2.3 overs to spare.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to RR’s win