Images from the Indian Premier League between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals in Mohali on Tuesday.
Captain Ravichandran Ashwin and opener KL Rahul played pivotal roles as Kings XI Punjab produced a superb all-round performance to script a comfortable 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in Mohali on Tuesday, to bring their campaign back on track.
Opener Rahul hit a 47-ball 52, while Ashwin (2/24) smashed 17 off four balls in the last over and then took two crucial wickets as Punjab bounced back after successive losses in the last two matches to record their fifth win in this IPL.
Put into bat, Rahul and David Miller (40 off 27) shared a 85-run stand for the third wicket to lay the foundation.
Ashwin then smashed a four and successive sixes in the final over of the innings to lift Punjab to 182 for six in their 20 overs.
The hosts then returned to restrict Rajasthan to 168 for seven, courtesy some superb bowling by R Ashwin and Murugan Ashwin (1/24) in the middle overs.
Debutant Arshdeep Singh had struck the crucial blow early with the wicket of dangerman Jos Buttler, who was caught on the leg side for 23. Pacer Mohammed Shami was expensive but came good in the final overs, scalping two wickets.
After this win, Punjab rose to fourth place in the points table with 10 points from nine games to keep play-off hopes alive. However, Rajasthan suffered their sixth loss from eight games and are in danger of missing out on the play-offs.
Defending the total, KXIP dismissed the big-hitting Jos Buttler (23) early as Rajasthan reached 55 in the first six over.
After blasting two sixes and one four, Buttler was caught by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran as young pacer Arshdeep scalped his maiden IPL wicket.
Opener Rahul Tripathi (50) and Sanju Samson (27 off 21) added 59 runs to take Rajasthan close to the 100-mark.
However, after two tight overs, R Ashwin produced the breakthrough with a carrom ball in the 12th over when he cleaned up Samson, who looked to play a sweep shot.
Needing 66 off last six overs, Tripathi completed his fifty in 44 balls before being caught at long off boundary by Agarwal off R Ashwin.
Australian Ashton Turner's IPL debut ended with a first-ball duck as he was dismissed by M Ashwin, while Jofra Archer was send back by Shami with wickets falling at regular intervals at the end.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who came in at No 4, scored a painstaking 26 from 21 balls as he failed to get the boundaries when needed.
Stuart Binny scored a quickfire 11-ball 33 but it was not enough as Rajasthan slipped to defeat.
Ashwin then blasted a four-ball 17 in the last over as KXIP posted a good total on board.
Pacer Jofra Archer (3/15) returned with an exceptional three-wicket haul to emerge as the best bowler for the Royals.
Invited to bat, opener Gayle (30) smashed Jaydev Unadkat for a couple of sixes in the second over, before blasting Dhawal Kulkarni for a four and a six in the fifth over.
Archer then had him caught behind by Sanju Samson in the sixth over as KXIP were 39 for one in the first powerplay overs.
Playing his first IPL game this season, New Zealand's Ish Sodhi was then introduced into the attack and Mayank Agarwal (26 off 12) clobbered him for a six in the fourth ball.
Agarwal then picked up a four and a six off Shreyas Gopal before Sodhi returned to remove him. Trying to play a slog sweep, Agarwal was caught by Archer at long-on.
Having started off cautiously, Rahul tried to steady the ship with Miller, who came into the side due to the last-minute ankle injury of Moises Henriques.
The duo took singles and twos before Rahul finally scored his first boundary when he lifted a Unadkat delivery across the mid-off region.
In the 14th over, Rahul and Miller exploded after bringing up the hundred for KXIP. The duo amassed 19 runs off Sodhi's over, his last, with Rahul smoking a massive six over square leg and Miller thumping one over long-off.
The two batsmen piled up 20 runs in the next over with Rahul hitting an inside-out shot over cover for a six and a four off Unadkat, and Miller disposing a full toss over midwicket for another maximum.
Archer dismissed Miller on a no-ball before Rahul sent one across the mid-off area to complete his fifty in 45 balls.
Rahul perished early in the 18th over off Unadkat and Archer then bowled a superb over, removing Nicholas Pooran (5) and Mandeep Singh (0). Miller too was sent packing early in the 20th over by Kulkarni.
Ashwin then smashed a four and successive sixes in the last two balls to put KXIP in a strong position.