Chris Gayle’s brilliant knock of 99 went in vain, as Kings XI Punjab went down to Rajasthan Royals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Punjab went in with an unchanged line up, while Rajasthan included Varun Aaron in place of Ankit Rajpoot who was taken to the cleaners in the previous game.
After being asked to bat first by RR, KXIP lost Mandeep Singh for a duck. The opener fell to a vicious bouncer from Jofra Archer, with Ben Stokes taking a brilliant diving catch.
KL Rahul and Chris Gayle added 120 runs for the second wicket, before the former missed his half-century by just four runs as he was caught in deep by Rahul Tewatia.
Gayle was given two reprieves- One by Ryan Parag, and another half chance by Rahul Tewatia. The West Indian made most of them as he scored 99 before being bowled by a Archer.
Nicholas Pooran in the end scored a quickfire 22 to take Punjab to 185/4 at the end of 20 overs.
For Royals, Jofra and Stokes claimed 2 wickets each.
Chasing 186, RR made a blistering start courtesy Ben Stokes, who scored a breezy 50 off 26 balls before he fell to Chris Jordan.
The pair of Robin Uthappa and Sanju Samson added 51 runs for the second wicket, before Murugan Ashwin broke the stand by dismissing the former for 30 in the 11th over.
Samson continued from where he had left from against Mumbai by scoring a valuable 48 to keep Rajasthan ahead in the chase. He was however run out by a brilliant piece of fielding from Jagadesha Suchith at point.
With 40 needed off the last five overs, the pair of Steve Smith and Jos Buttler comfortably got their team past the finishing line with 15 deliveries to spare.
Ben Stokes was declared the Man of the Match.