In a day of surprises, Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians in their backyard while Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Kings XI Punjab to end a six-match losing streak in the season. At Wankhede, Jos Buttler completed a brilliant half-century to take Rajasthan to a win in a fairly regulation run-chase. Mohali witnessed a Virat Kohli-AB de Villiers special as the duo put on 85 for the second wicket in a run-chase of 174.
Here are some of the best moments from Saturday's matches:
Rohit Sharma's hilarious kick
After a superb opening partnership to kick start the innings, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock had to increase the scoring rate in the middle overs and the Mumbai Indians skipper decided to take on Krishnappa Gowtham, the off-spinner. In the 10th over of the innings, a hilarious incident saw Rohit step out and then kick the ball away with his leg instead of the bat.
Having premeditated a slog, Rohit danced down the wicket to take on Gowtham. The off-spinner, seeing this, bowled a wide down leg-stump in order to make the batsman, a victim of stumping. Rohit, though, was thinking on his feet, and immediately kicked the ball off with his legs to avoid it from going into the hands of the keeper. The timely kick saved him from being stumped but he could only add three more runs to his tally before Jofra Archer dismissed him.
One keeper takes a blinder in the deep, another drops a sitter behind the stumps
Usually behind the stumps, Jos Buttler had given up the gloves to Sanju Samson from Rajasthan's game against Chennai Super Kings. This move proved to be just fine in hindsight as Buttler pulled off a screamer in the outfield on Saturday against Mumbai Indians. De Kock slogged Jofra Archer to long-off without much timing by backing away from the stumps. As the ball dipped way in front of the fielder, Buttler rushed in from the deep, dove forward, caught the ball, rolled twice and got up all in milliseconds to complete a brilliant catch.
While Mumbai Indians were forced to keep with Ishan Kishan as de Kock was dehydrated after his half-century, it resulted in the youngster dropping a crucial catch in the penultimate over. Jasprit Bumrah had found an edge off Shreyas Gopal in the last ball of the 19th over but Kishan diving to his right shelled the catch and Gopal went on to win the game for Rajasthan.
Buttler gives Joseph some stick
Jos Buttler was in no mood to be generous at the Wankhede on Saturday. After digging into a few freebies from the Mumbai Indians bowlers on his way to a fine half-century, Buttler took on the bowler with the best bowling figures in IPL – Alzarri Joseph. In the 13th over of the innings, Buttler went completely berserk against the West Indian seamer and slammed him for 28 runs in one over.
Joseph had completed two overs and on being called upon to break the Buttler-Samson stand, he bowled a few in Buttler's arc and paid a heavy price. The first ball disappeared for a six down the ground and the next four went for boundaries too. Buttler smacked the last one over wide long-on to complete an over of boundaries and take Rajasthan closer to a win.
Chahal's massive leg-break
Yuzvendra Chahal had his Shane Warne moment at Mohali on Saturday when he got one to rip past the outside edge of Mayank Agarwal and hit the off stump. The leg-spinner had picked up the wicket of KL Rahul in his first over a ball after being hit into the stands.
Against Agarwal in the second over, Chahal was once again taken to the cleaners when the No 3 batsman lofted him inside out for a six off the fourth ball of the over. Like in the case of Rahul, Chahal responded immediately and produced an unplayable leg-break next ball to breach Agarwal's defence and hit the timber.
Lucky Gayle makes 99 instead of 0
Chris Gayle batted through the innings at Mohali and remained unbeaten on 99 as Kings XI Punjab made 173 but he could well have been watching most of the action from the sidelines had Royal Challengers Bangalore taken a review in the very first over against him.
Umesh Yadav had bowled three consecutive dots at Gayle in the first over of the innings before shaping one back into the left-hander from a good length. The West Indian was beaten on the inside edge and the ball rammed into his pads. RCB, though, were pretty stifled in their appealing and did not even ponder a review. Replays later showed that the ball would have crashed onto the stumps and Gayle would have been dismissed had they reviewed the on-field call.
Ashwin pulls a rabbit out of his hat
After Mohammad Shami conceded a six off the final delivery of the penultimate over, Royal Challengers Bangalore needed six to win in the last over with eight wickets in hand. Kings XI Punjab had bowled out all of their bowlers except Sam Curran and the left-arm seamer was expected to bowl the final over.
Instead, Ravichandran Ashwin stunned et al when he tossed the ball to Sarfaraz Khan, a part-time leg-break bowler who had never ever bowled in the IPL before. Marcus Stoinis hit the part-timer for a four down the ground first ball and a double of the next ball meant Ashwin's out-of-the-box strategy came apart rather quickly.
“There was only 6 runs to go and the ball was sliding on nicely. I thought the the best way against AB and Stoinis was to try and go with a leggie, not that Sam can't defend,” Ashwin defended the decision in the post-match presentation ceremony.
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Both teams made a lot of tactical blunders throughout the 40 overs, so much so that towards the climax, it seemed both were trying their best to lose. But in the end, Punjab had the last laugh by chasing down 172 on the final ball of the match.
Things have gone pear-shaped for CSK since their win over MI in the tournament opener on 19 November.
RR restricted the three-time champions CSK to a modest 125 for five after being invited to bowl and then overcame the target in 17.3 overs, thanks to a 98-run fourth wicket partnership between Buttler and skipper Steve Smith (26).