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Turning Point: Shami proves costly

By LAXMI NEGI
October 31, 2020 08:42 IST
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Steve Smith

IMAGE: Steve Smith and Jos Buttler collected 19 runs from Mohammed Shami's over. Photograph: BCCI/IPL
 

Chasing 186 for victory, Rajasthan Royals made an explosive start as openers Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa posted 60 runs in the powerplay.

Stokes was in magnificent form during his short innings as he found the boundaries with ease. The Englishman also brought up his half-century off just 25 balls in the powerplay.

Sanju Samson then took charge of the run chase in the middle overs after the dismissals of Uthappa and Stokes, and together with Skipper Steve Smith, put the Royals in control.

After Samson was brilliantly run out by substitute J Suchith -- a sharp, direct, throw; he must be one of India's best fielders; remember his amazing catch on the boundary to dismiss Manish Pandey and begin SunRisers's collapse in an earlier game -- the run rate went up, as in that over only two runs were scored.

Kings XI Punjab mounted pressure, but as soon as Jos Buttler joined Smith at the crease, the mood changed.

The match turned Rajasthan's way when Mohammed Shami came in to bowl the 17th over. KXIP Skipper K L Rahul may have expected another miracle from Shami, but the India pacer did not look the experienced international he is.

Smith and Buttler collected 19 runs from the over, including four boundaries. The first came over mid-off, then mid-wicket and then a cheeky scoop towards short fine leg.

Buttler joined in and smacked Shami over deep mid-wicket off the last delivery. That was it. Shami had gifted the game to the Royals.

It was a splendid chase from the Royals after benefiting from the toss. They had the right intent and composure to oertake KXIP's impressive score.

With an emphatic seven wicket Rajasthan ended Punjab's five-match winning run in IPL 2020.

The Royals lived to fight another day. Their playoffs hopes are still alive with 12 points after 13 games.

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