IPL 2019: Jos Buttler run out sparks Royals collapse as Punjab win amid controversy
Wicketkeeper-batsman 'Mankaded' on 69 as home team fall short of 185-run target set by Kings XI
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Kings XI Punjab beat Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs in Jaipur on Monday night to get their Indian Premier League campaign off to a winning start in controversial circumstances.
Sent in to bat by Ajinkya Rahane, the home team captain, Punjab posted a competitive 184-4 in their 20 overs thanks in large part to an 84-run partnership between Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan.
Gayle, the 39-year-old West Indian opener, struck four sixes and eight fours to score 79 off 47 balls before being caught by Rahul Tripathi off the bowling of Ben Stokes.
Sarfaraz, 18 years Gayle’s junior, stroked an unbeaten 29-ball 46 that included six boundaries and a sixer. Rajasthan, though, got off to a fiery start courtesy of wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler (69) and Rahane (27), who put on 78 runs for the first wicket before the latter was bowled by India teammate Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin also dismissed Buttler but in unconventional fashion: he ‘Mankaded’ him.
The act itself is not illegal and replays confirmed Buttler was well outside his crease, but Buttler was perhaps furious about the fact the off-spinner stopped in his action and waited for the batsman to leave his crease. Anyhow, the third umpire ruled it out and Buttler had to go.
His run out changed the course of the match as the Royals collapsed from 107-1 to 164-9 in the space of 39 balls.
Ashwin later refused to back down on his dismissal of Buttler, suggesting it was within the rules of the game.
“No real argument on that and its pretty instinctive. I was not even at the crease and he just left the crease,” Ashwin said. “We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments.”
Rahane opted not to wade into the issue, saying: “We are not supposed to comment on a controversial issue. The match referee will take the call. We will take the decision sportively.”
But he conceded Buttler’s was a crucial wicket given “when you are chasing 180 plus, someone has to go really hard”.
Rajasthan fast bowler Jofra Archer did not hold back, though, as he tweeted: "You show no confidence in yourself or your bowlers to get the job done so you resort to that ? #greatcaptaincy"
Former India opener-turned-commentator wrote on Twitter: "Law is above The Mythical Spirit of The Game. Don’t fret. Don’t frown. How’s playing within the laws of the game ‘unfair’??"
Veteran cricket writer Lawrence Booth perhaps described it best, tweeting: "The Ashwin/Buttler Mankad seems to have divided critics broadly along national lines. As ever."
Rajasthan coach Shane Warne was critical of Ashwin, tweeting: "So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball - so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI - this a not a good look for the #IPL"
Gayle, who will retire from international cricket in the summer at the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup, was adjudged Man of the Match.
Updated: March 25, 2019 11:12 PM