Done and dusted with this match. On Tuesday, Delhi will be hosting Chennai at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The action will begin at 2000 IST (1430 GMT). Do join us for the coverage. Cheers!
Man of the Match, Chris Gayle smiles and says that it's a big ground and to get some runs in the first game is really important. He is pleased to start the season well and just wants to keep getting better and better. States that he is still enjoying his cricket. Lauds the batting of Sarfaraz Khan. Feels that Rajasthan got the better part of the pitch to bat but praises his bowlers for doing the job for them. Laughs and says that the youngsters in the team have a lot to offer and they want to win this edition for the Universe Boss.
Victorious Punjab skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin says that they knew the pitch will slow down after the first six overs. Adds that he has been working on a lot of variations and is pleased with the way it came out. On the Mankading dismissal, Ashwin replies that it's pretty instinctive and Buttler left the crease very early. States that his stand is very clear and it's his half of the pitch. Feels that it was the game-changer and he is happy to end on the winning side. Mentions that Sam Curran had an off day but the way he bounced back was brilliant.
Sarfaraz Khan gives a little interview. Says that he was working hard on his game and is pleased to play a good knock. Mentions that he never got too much time higher up in the batting order in the League and hopes to get more such opportunities. On playing the paddle scoop with so much ease, Sarfaraz replies that he has been practicing that shot from a very young age.
Rajasthan's skipper, Ajinkya Rahane says that Jos Buttler batted really well but they lost the plot completely and credits Punjab for bowling well in the last three overs. On the controversial dismissal of Buttler, Rahane chooses not to comment and states that they will take that decision sportingly and it's up to the match referee to decide. Adds that they have a lot to learn from this game. Praises Buttler and Archer for their performance and says that he is taking positives from this match.
Now, let's talk about the controversial moment which completely turned this game on its head. Ravichandran Ashwin mankaded Jos Buttler and that was the moment when 77 was needed off 43 balls. Sanju Samson and Steven Smith formed a partnership to propel the hosts but then came the over number 17. In an act of redemption, Sam Curran bowled an extraordinary over where he removed both Smith and Samson, and brought his team back into the contest. The following over by Mujeeb further dented Rajasthan as the Afghan also picked up two crucial wickets. From there on, Punjab just capitalized and earned a win out of nowhere.
What a turnaround from Punjab! And it won't be wrong to say that Rajasthan have been 'Mankaded' here. Also, their first loss against Punjab at this venue. The chase was going very well for the home team as Jos Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane provided an excellent start in the Powerplay. The Rajasthan skipper fell but the Englishman continued and was very severe on all the bowlers, especially his countryman, Sam Curran.
A Rajpoot to D Kulkarni, A single from the last ball and that is it, PUNJAB WIN BY 14 RUNS. Length and on middle, this is eased down to long on for a run.
A Rajpoot to D Kulkarni, FOUR! A boundary but it won't be making a difference. Full and around off, this is stroked through covers and the ball races away to the fence.
A Rajpoot to D Kulkarni, Another yorker outside off, too good for Kulkarni as he fails to put bat on ball.
A Rajpoot to S Gopal, No hat-trick. A full toss on the leg pole, Gopal hits it down to long on and takes a single.
Dhawal Kulkarni is the last man out for Rajasthan.
A Rajpoot to K Gowtham, OUT! There goes Rajasthan's last hope! Another top delivery, a yorker, Gowtham looks to get under it but fails to do so. It goes off the bottom half of his bat towards mid off where the fielder, Shami, runs in and takes it in the second attempt. Two-in-two for Rajpoot. He is on a hat-trick.
Shreyas Gopal walks out to the middle.
A Rajpoot to J Unadkat, OUT! A collision but the catch has been taken! Pooran though has hurt himself as he is down on the ground. A bumper, too quick for Unadkat. He looks to pull but gets a top edge onto his helmet. The ball lobs beside the pitch. Both, the keeper and the bowler go for it. No one calls for it. In the end, it is Rajpoot who takes it but then dashes into the keeper. The good thing for Rajasthan is that Gowtham has crossed over.
END OF OVER: 19 | 6 Runs 2 Wkt | RR: 164/7
Ankit Rajpoot to bowl the last one.
M Shami to J Unadkat, Just a single! More importantly it won't be Gowtham who will face the start of the last over. Just the six from the penultimate over. Full and on middle, this is hit down to long on for a run. 21 needed in 6 balls.
Jaydev Unadkat is the new man in.
M Shami to J Archer, OUT! RUN OUT! Archer is out of here! Another top nut, a yorker and Archer fails to jam it out properly. He though is off for a single but Gowtham is not interested. The keeper has a shy at his end but misses. Shami though collects and since both the batters are stranded in the middle of the wicket, Shami has ample time to jog towards the stumps at the keeper's end and whip the bails off. JA is the one who has to walk back though as the batters never crossed. Into the tail now are Punjab.
M Shami to J Archer, Another yorker, not a lot you can do with that. Archer works it through mid-wicket for a couple. 22 needed in 8. Need to end the over well here, Rajasthan.
M Shami to K Gowtham, A yorker now on middle, Gowtham jams it out towards point and a run is taken. Singles won't harm Punjab here.
M Shami to K Gowtham, A dot! Gold at this stage! Short and on middle, Gowtham may not have been expecting it. He goes for the pull but misses as he is late on the shot.
M Shami to K Gowtham, Close! Gowtham powers it down towards long on and the batsmen take one. They go for the second. Archer is struggling but to his luck, Shami fails to collect the throw from Mayank.