20 | 18 Runs 1 Wkt | KXIP: 182/6 | RR: 9.10

  • Ravichandran Ashwin17 (4b)
  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman0 (1b)
  • Dhawal Kulkarni4-0-37-1
  • Jofra Archer4-0-15-3

KL Rahul made a fifty, but the way he got his runs split opinion. He was 17 off 27 in the 11th over of the innings, making no efforts to find the boundary. Then, suddenly, like he flicked the switch, he started hitting all those shots that makes him such a bright limited-overs talent. Kings XI Punjab insist on playing five bowlers and that might perhaps force the top order batsmen to protect their wickets like that. There's more on the subject in our talking points piece. It's a risky approach, often resulting in below par totals, but R Ashwin managed to get a few big hits late in the game and we suddenly have the makings of an interesting chase. Come back for it in like 10 when Shashank will be all set to entertain

David Miller: It's a good wicket. Big boundary on the one side. Short boundary on the other. If we bowl well to that side, it'll be great. We have a really good score. We have to get a good first six overs. I wasn't going to play. I was just warming up with my football skills. But unfortunately Moises rolled his ankle. He's actually in hospital now getting scans. It's about giving myself a change. I want to be hitting the sweepers. Coming in the middle of the innings can be tricky, with bowlers bowling slow, so you need to give yourself a chance. It's a good score but we really need to bowl well in the first six

Kulkarni to R Ashwin, SIX runs, scoops it! That's the way to end a T20 innings. And he sure enjoyed it, striding over to his partner and punches his gloves with extra oomph. This shows Ashwin in his best light - he knows the bowler is under pressure having bowled a short ball. He knows he's bound to go for the yorker and so he sets up for the scoop shot, backing himself to get under the ball, and easily does so when it ends up a full toss outside off. Then a little bit of wristwork makes sure it travels all the way
Kulkarni to R Ashwin, SIX runs, launches it over midwicket. Ashwin picks the slower ball, waits for it to hit the deck and come within his hitting arc and then pulls it with some power
Kulkarni to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 1 leg bye, nails the yorker, angling into Mujeeb's toes and try as he might he can't get any bat to it. They do sneak a leg bye to point though
Kulkarni to R Ashwin, 1 run, steps down the track and nails the back of a length ball on off stump to the left of mid-off. Buttler does well to stop it going to the boundary with quick movement and a well timed dive
Kulkarni to R Ashwin, FOUR runs, carves the short ball outside off behind point and keeps it well to the right of third man to find a well contrived boundary
Kulkarni to Miller, OUT, another slower ball, another wicket. Miller tries to cream it over wide long-on, making room and swinging as hard as he can. But since Kulkarni pulls all the pace off it, the batsman can't really get all the timing he wants on it and Buttler picks up an easy catch at long-on

DA Miller c Buttler b Kulkarni 40 (57m 27b 2x4 2x6) SR: 148.14

19 | 3 Runs 2 Wkts | KXIP: 164/5 | RR: 8.63

  • David Miller40 (26b)
  • Jofra Archer4-0-15-3
  • Jaydev Unadkat4-0-48-1
Archer to Mandeep Singh, OUT, drags on! Archer comes down from 150 clicks to a mere 111 and it bamboozles Mandeep. Comes out the back of the hand, concentrates on pitching it short - which is because the batsman's mind reads the length instinctively but doesn't always catch the pace - Mandeep is into the pull way too early and the ball ricochets off his bat into the base of the stumps. Top class bowling from a top class talent. Ed Smith, are you watching? (He and the other England selectors pick their World Cup squad tomorrow)

Mandeep Singh b Archer 0 (2m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Archer to Mandeep Singh, no run, 148 kph full toss on middle, Mandeep can only bunt it back to the bowler
Archer to Miller, 1 run, low full toss on leg stump, Miller taps it to long-on

Taz_NY: "For all the people dissing on Rahul's slow innings, you have to realize that Kings XI don't have a strong middle order, so they need someone like Rahul to bat through and hold the innings together. "

Archer to Pooran, OUT, taken at cover. Archer's so good he's getting wickets off full tosses. Pooran tries to drag it from outside off into the leg side but the rapid pace on the ball means it skews off the outside top half of the half and ends up in Rahane's hands

N Pooran c Rahane b Archer 5 (6m 6b 0x4 0x6) SR: 83.33

Archer to Pooran, 2 runs, doesn't quite land the yorker, but when you're pace is at 145 kph, it is still hard to power away. Pooran clears his front leg and swings it to long-on
Archer to Pooran, no run, mis-hits a near-yorker at 145 kph to mid-off

18 | 9 Runs 1 Wkt | KXIP: 161/3 | RR: 8.94

  • David Miller39 (25b)
  • Nicholas Pooran3 (3b)
  • Jaydev Unadkat4-0-48-1
  • Jofra Archer3-0-12-1
Unadkat to Miller, FOUR runs, launches it to the extra cover boundary! Minor blip in planning from Unadkat as he goes normal pace and lands it right in the slot for Miller to lash past mid-off's right

Ragha: "So now, what is the take on rahul's innings? I feel its below par innings. There were few breathtaking shots but that's not this is about. Agarwal had to go bonkers because of his slow scoring and now the new batsmen has to do the same. "

Unadkat to Pooran, 1 leg bye, beats him with his lack of pace - it's only 108 kph - and it offers no hitting room. Pooran, even after clearing the front leg, isn't able to get bat to it, playing a flick shot and instead finding runs at third man
Unadkat to Miller, 1 run, another slower short ball, which Miller swats to long-on

nishant thaccke: "This strategy of Rahul of starting slow and wasting crucial PP overs is going to backfire big time in a crucial match. It is somewhat justifiable while chasing but while setting a target can set your team back a lot !"

Unadkat to Pooran, 1 run, steps down, making room, but Unadkat does well again, bowling short and angling it into the gut of Pooran, who loses his shape and swings blindly, mis-hitting the ball to deep square leg
Unadkat to Pooran, 2 runs, slower ball, targeting off stump, Pooran gets forward and whips it to deep midwicket
Unadkat to Rahul, OUT, caught at point! Unadkat screams, he's been vindicated, backing himself to come good against a man who's hit him all over the park, bowling full and just outside off. Rahul tries a calculated slice, hoping he can get it between point and short third man, in which case it would have been a boundary, but only ends up hitting straight at Archer

KL Rahul c Archer b Unadkat 52 (86m 47b 3x4 2x6) SR: 110.63

Long-on, deep midwicket, deep square leg, long leg. Third man up. So more slower balls

17 | 12 Runs | KXIP: 152/2 | RR: 8.94

  • David Miller34 (23b)
  • KL Rahul52 (46b)
  • Jofra Archer3-0-12-1
  • Shreyas Gopal4-0-31-0

Adarsh: "Dhoni's / Rahul's strategy of starting slow and accelerating later may be useful while chasing moderate totals, but will usually end up achieving sub-par totals while batting first."

Archer to Miller, no run, beats him outside off with Miller stuck in his crease against a fullish, incoming delivery, trying to cut it through point
Archer to Miller, 2 runs, slices it behind point
Archer to Rahul, 1 run, looks for the yorker, but it ends up a really low full toss, which Rahul knocks down to long-on
Archer to Rahul, FOUR runs, picks the gap between cover and mid-off and it's with that sublime shot that he gets to his fifty. Sublime because Archer angles the shortish delivery well down leg, responding to the batsman making room for himself. But Rahul, once again, holds his shape and simply extends his back foot defensive while concentrating on picking the gap

Royals 2nd innings Partnerships

1st38JC ButtlerRA Tripathi
2nd59SV SamsonRA Tripathi
3rd30AM RahaneRA Tripathi
4th4AM RahaneAJ Turner
5th2AM RahaneJC Archer
6th15STR BinnyAM Rahane
7th12STR BinnyS Gopal
8th10STR BinnyJD Unadkat