Rajasthan Royals (RR) beat Kings Eleven Punjab (KXIP) by 7 wickets after a quickfire knock from Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson. IPL 2020 has witnessed 50 games in the tournament now and so far only Mumbai Indians have qualified for the playoffs. While except CSK the rest of the 6 teams are still alive in the tournament.
RR were chasing 186 runs target set by KXIP after Chris Gayle’s 99 run knock. Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes gave RR a brilliant start with 60 runs in the 6th over itself. Uthappa got out for 30 runs from 23 balls by M Ashwin. Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes then played a game-changing partnership that paved the way for RR.
Samson made 48 runs from 25 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes in the match. Stokes scored his fastest fifty in IPL with a 24 ball fifty. However, it did not last long and he was dismissed two balls later. Steven Smith and Jos Buttler raced on with good stokes as RR chased KXIP’s total with 15 balls to spare.
Gayle misses ton by one run
Chris Gayle missed his first ton in IPL 2020 after being dismissed for 99 runs in the last over. This is the second time Gayle has been dismissed on 99 runs in IPL. Last year also he had made 99 runs against RCB. KXIP after being allowed to bat first were rocked in the first over itself after Mandeep was dismissed for a golden duck. Gayle was dropped by Riyan Parag when on just 10 runs. The mistake turned out to be costly as Gayle made 89 more runs before getting out.
Orange Cap holder KL Rahul continued his run-scoring form against RR as well. Gayle and Rahul made 120 run partnership until the latter was dismissed by Ben Stokes on 46. Gayle kept on going targeting bowlers in between until the last over of Jofra Archer. He was bowled on the fourth bowl for 99 runs. Nicholas Pooran chipped in 20 runs as KXIP made 185/4 after 20 overs.
Jofra Archer was the pick of the bowlers with 4-0-26-2. Ben Stokes bowled for the first time in IPL 2020 and took two wickets for 32 runs.
Playoffs spot still alive for 6 teams
RR have now won two games in a row with another big run-chase in Dream11 IPL 2020. RR are in the 6th spot with 6 wins and 7 losses in the tournament. They have a must-win game versus Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium.
KXIP’s 5 match winning streak came to an end but are still in the 4th position with a better net run rate than RR. They too have 12 points with 6 wins and 7 losses in the tournament. KXIP play CSK on Sunday in another do or die match. Apart from CSK who are eliminated in the race for playoffs and MI who became the first qualifying team in IPL 2020, all the 6 remaining teams are still in the race for the playoffs. The battle for the playoffs is likely to go to the wire as the six teams tussle in the final phase of the tournament.