26 Mar 2019
At 96/1 after 10 overs, the target looked well within reach for the Rajasthan Royals, with Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson at the crease. However, in the Vivo Indian Premier Leaue (IPL), fortunes turn faster than you would think. After Jos Buttler’s Mandkading dismissal, the new batsmen found it slightly difficult to get to terms wit the two-paced pitch. Eventually, a landslide got the better of the Royals, as we lost by 14 runs to Kings XI Punjab in our season opener. After winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals elected to bowl. We couldn’t have asked for a better start, as Dhawal Kulkarni dismissed KL Rahul for the fourth time in T20 cricket. Chris Gayle, however, took his time, settled in and showed his true colour as he compiled 79 runs. After Gayle’s dismissal, our bowlers pulled things back towards the end of the innings. A late surge by Sarfaraz Khan took the Kings to 184 in their 20 overs. The chase got off to a perfect start with Rahane and Buttler racing to 64 runs in the Powerplay. While Rahane struck a flurry of boundaries in the first over, Buttler got back to his usual business, as he took the bowling apart, left, right and centre. A controversial Mankadin by KXIP skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin, led to Buttler’s dismissal in the 13th over of the chase. Sanju Samson and Steven Smith tried to hang in there and preserve wickets for the final burst towards the end, but it all fell apart when both of them fell in the same over off Sam Curran’s bowling. Smith was dismissed by a very good catch taken by KL Rahul. We kept losing wickets from there on and couldn’t get the chase back on track. Eventually, Rajasthan Royals fell short of the target by 15 runs. We have a lot of positives to look back at from our season opener. Our bowlers did well under pressure and the top order seemed solid. We go back to the drawing board and travel to Hyderabad for the second game of Vivo IPL 2019.