Buttler (69 from 43 deliveries) was going great guns in pursuit of Kings XI’s 184. He had left the Punjab bowlers clueless as he smoked ten boundaries and a couple of sixes. Royals were 108 for 1 after 12.4 overs when Punjab captain Ashwin saw Buttler backing up a little too far at the non-striker’s end and dislodged the bails.
As a gobsmacked Buttler looked on, Ashwin, who was seen justifying his action, which was well within the rules but perhaps not in the spirit of the game. It was, however, not clear if he had warned the batsman before running him out.
@cricketaakash can you believe Ashwin world’s best spinner😂😂😂 https://t.co/P3S2uuHKXp
— ketan sawant (@SawantKetan225) 1553544363000
The umpire went upstairs and moments later a fuming Buttler walked back, clear disgusted at what had just happened.
His dismissal at crucial juncture derailed the hosts’ innings who eventually lost by 14 runs after fiery start.
This was the first case of Mankading in the 12-year-old history of the tournament and it’s likely to raise a debate.
Earlier, a fiery knock of 47-ball 79 by Gayle set the ball rolling for the visitors. Put in to bat, Punjab required a good start, but that did not happen as they lost opener KL Rahul for just four runs.
The onus, obviously, was on the vastly experienced Gayle and he did not disappoint. Pairing with Mayank Agarwal, Gayle stitched a 56-run partnership for the second wicket to ensure there was no slip-up.
If Gayle went for his shots, Mayank held fort at the other end. Known for his patience, Mayank kept the scoreboard ticking before being caught by Dhawal Kulkarni at long-off off his state-mate Krishnappa Gowtham for 22.
But even after his exit, there was no stopping Gayle. He partnered with young Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan, who played an unbeaten knock of 46 to keep the momentum going.
The duo added 84 runs for the third wicket. That certainly set the tone for Kings XI Punjab.
While the two played to their strength, Rajasthan Royals’ bowling department went haywire as none of their plans seemed to work.
Though Ben Stokes sent Gayle back to the pavilion in the 16th over, Kings XI were already in a comfortable position.
From there on, Khan and Nicholas Pooran went with the flow to ensure that there was no crashing.
Royals, however, have plenty to ponder on their bowling department. None of their pacers – Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni – could make an impact.