KXIP Punjab have made a habit of triggering batting collapses in the death overs in IPL 2019 and the trend continued as Rajasthan lost five wickets for 33 runs and eventually lost the match by 12 runs.
R Ashwin was the architect of Punjab’s win as he first smacked 17 off 4 balls to take Punjab to 182 runs and then picked two wickets giving away just 24 runs. Meanwhile this defeat has further sinked RR to number 7 in points table with just two wins in eight games.
Earlier in the night, Chris Gayle gave Punjab a sterling start by scoring 30 off 22 balls. After his dismissal Agarwal took the mandate and slammed 26 runs off just 12 balls but he too departed leaving Punjab at 67 for two.
But KL Rahul who had a slow start to his innings, began blossoming and weaved a crucial partnership with David Miller. They duo added 85 runs for the third wicket but Rahul was dismissed by Jaydev Unadkat on the first ball of the 18th over for 52 off 47 balls.
In the next over, Archer removed Nicholas Pooran and Mandeep Singh and on the first ball of the 20th over Kulkarni claimed the big wicket of Miller for 40 off 27 balls.
It looked all doomed for Punjab but skipper Ashwin slammed a four off his first ball and then cantered two sixes of the last two balls of the innings to take Punjab to 182 runs.
Chasing 183 runs Rajasthan got a brisk start as Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi scored 38 for the first wicket. But Arshdeep Singh pushed Punjab back in the contest by removing Buttler for 23 runs off 17 balls on first ball of fifth over.
Then Tripathi and Sanju Samson added 61 runs for second wicket but it came in 45 balls, increasing the required run-rate.
Rahane who came to bat at number four tried to get back things on track but Punjab was relentless with their pressure. With 53 needed off 25 balls, Tripathi fell to pressure and was out for 50 off 45 balls.
Murgun Aswhin then sent back Ashton Turner for a golden duck in the next over and Rajasthan lost the track. Stuart Binny scored 33 off 11 balls but he didn’t receive any support from the other end as RR managed 170 runs in 20 overs.