Watch: KL Rahul Takes Catch Of The Season To Dismiss Steve Smith
There is an old saying in cricket that goes ‘ catches win matches’ and KL Rahul proved it once again on Monday. Rahul took a breathtaking catch to send back Steve Smith which eventually proved to be the turning point during the match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Chasing a daunting 185, the Royals were off to a solid start. Their openers – Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler fired on all cylinders right from the word go, helping Royals reach fifty in just 5.4 overs. R Ashwin then gave the visitors the much-needed first breakthrough when he dismissed Rahane for 27 to end the 78-run stand.
However, it did not bring any respite for Kings XI as Buttler kept playing the big shots. The England wicketkeeper-batsman reached his third consecutive fifty against Kings XI off just 29 deliveries. It looked like Buttler would take Royals home with utmost ease before a controversy saw him return to the pavilion. Buttler became the first player in IPL to be given out for ‘Mankading’.
But the Royals were still on top and were comfortably placed at 148 for 2 in the 17th over before KL Rahul pulled off the blinder. Steve Smith, who was making a comeback in the IPL, lofted a Sam Curran delivery over extra cover. With no fielder at that spot, it looked like the ball would cross the boundary for a four.
However, Rahul, who was positioned at long off, made a huge ground to his left before diving full length to pull off a stunner.
Here is a clip of that catch:
M04: RR vs KXIP – Steve Smith Wicket https://t.co/TxdDP9mNyE
— PRINCE SINGH (@PRINCE3758458) March 26, 2019
The catch eventually made the difference as Royals finished on 170 for 9 despite being 148 for 2 at one stage.
After the game, Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane credited the Kings XI bowlers for their fine show in the death overs.
“I thought we were batting really well. We started off well at the top and then got another good partnership. Later on we needed 39 off 4 overs and we thought that could have been done easily. But KXIP bowled really well in the last three overs,” Rahane said.
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