Mohali: Ravichandran Ashwin’s 17 off 4 balls and opener KL Rahul’s 52 off 47 deliveries played pivotal roles as Kings XI Punjab produced a stupendous all-round performance to script a comfortable 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals. Ashwin, who is known for his bowling skills excelled with the bat too on Tuesday, taking Dhawal Kulkarni to task in the final over of Punjab’s innings.  

Ashwin’s effort lower down the order helped the host to post a mammoth total of 182 runs on the board. In response, Royals were off to a blistering start but lost the momentum in the middle and could never recover. As in the tournament so far, they have failed to capitalize on the big moments. 

With this, let’s look at the factors which took the game away from Rajasthan Royals:

1. Ravichandran Ashwin’s last over blitz

Earlier in the day, in-form KL Rahul scored yet another half-century in the ongoing edition and he was supported well by Universe Boss aka ‘Chris Gayle’ and David Miller. Both of them got good starts but failed to convert them into anything big. But, with Kings XI Punjab losing four wickets in the 18th and the penultimate over, it seemed like they will end up short of a competitive total at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.

However, skipper R Ashwin, had some other plans. The all-rounder came out to bat as Kulkarni dismissed the well-set Miller on the first ball of the 20th over. The skipper, however, did not take any time in adjusting to the conditions and slammed 17 runs off 4 balls. His small cameo included a boundary and two mighty sixes which shifted momentum towards the home side.

 2. Arshdeep Singh’s debut spell

The Rajasthan Royals openers, Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi, started the reply well, scoring 38 runs in just four overs before Buttler got out. His dismissal slowed the scoring rate and eventually chasing became difficult. Sanju Samson along with set Rahul Tripathi tried to find the gaps, but the duo failed by some margin. 

Rajasthan Royals never managed to came back in the game despite the fact that Tripathi and Samson registered a 59-run stand. Once Samson departed, wickets continued to tumble for Rajasthan Royals as they suffered their sixth loss in eight games they have played this season. Punjab, on the other hand, has moved up to the fourth spot.