Ashwin Led Punjab ‘Mankade’ the Royal Show!
The Pink Fortress of the Men in Pink was hardly breached before this day, ask KXIP who never knew what winning is like in the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. When they strode out to bat with the Dynamic duo of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle walking to the square, a chirping start was on the cards but the demons of the Australian Summer hit KL Rahul and soon the former RCB duo of Gayle and Agarwal were up for the rescue. All these ex RCB players somehow fit in to their new franchises, and the Universe Boss started with the most Gayle unlike innings. Jaydev Unadkat, with all those price tag talks around him, was introduced and Gayle found a reason to unleash and in the land of Deserts, Gayle storm was on rampage. He mistimes it for colossal sixes and got out trying to eke out another maximum in the over where he had already called the shots. KXIP always looked like cruising to a score of 200 and a muddle in between followed by another fine finishing touch by another RCB youngster ensures Punjab reached to a respectable 184. With only 5 bowling options and the depth in the RR batting, the target was always gettable. And then came out Jos the Boss, continuing from where he left last year cruising to a 50 in no time. Well aided by the captain Ajinkya Rahane who himself looked like getting his IPL lost touches back. Ashwin then produced a carrom ball to send him back but Butler knew no stoppages. In what turned out to be a Law vs Spirits of the game moment, Ashwin perhaps figured out the only way to get Butler out by staying within the “Law”. Mankading followed and the rule number 41.16 of ICC’s latest rule book ensured Butler had to make way. Yet, with Steve smith and Sanju Samson and alot more batting to come, You would expect the RR to get over the finish line. Requiring 39 off the last 4, they suffered one of the most dramatic collapses in one of the most talked about games in the IPL recently and gave it away in the end. KXIP won the game but have to do very well to get back the neutral fans that it lost owing to all the outrageous assault of words on social media for their main Man. Not often do You see a Gaylestorm not being talked about when it happens. Unfortunately, it did today. Whether Ashwin played the game in the right spirit is a debate for another day, but an in defence abiding of the cricketing law construct gave Punjab the crucial 2 points and their first ever victory at the Pink City of Jaipur.