It was a tough start to this season’s Indian Premier League for Sussex’s Jofra Archer and Rashid Khan.
Archer’s Rajasthan Royals lost in controversial fashion at home to the Kings XI Punjab by 14 runs on Monday, and Khan’s Sunrisers Hyderabad were defeated on Sunday by the Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets.
Rajasthan won the toss at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium and elected to field first, and took their first wicket in the opening over, as KL Rahul was dismissed for four runs. His opening partner, Chris Gayle scored an impressive 79 off 47 runs.
The 39-year-old surpassed 4,000 IPL runs and has become the second foreign player to reach that milestone. With Sarafarz Khan’s unbeaten 46 off 29 balls, Kings XI finished on 184-4. Archer bowled well, with figures of 0-17 off his four over spell, an economy rate of 4.25, and England’s Ben Stokes took 2-48.
In the Royals’ reply, England international, Jos Buttler was going on nicely on 69 from 43 balls (108-2 after 12.4 overs) before he was run out in highly controversial circumstances when Ravichandran Ashwin stumped the non-striker before he bowled.
That crucial wicket knocked the momentum of the Royals as they lost eight wickets for 56 runs, to leave them short of the target. Australia’s Steve Smith could only make 20 on his IPL return for Rajasthan.
Khan took 1-26 for the Sunrisers Hyderabad but they suffered a tight defeat at the Knight Riders.
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The Knight Riders won the toss at Eden Gardens and elected to field, but the Sunrisers got off to a good start with an opening partnership of 118. England’s Jonny Bairstow scored 39 off 35 balls, but Australian David Warner’s 85 off 53 balls put the visitors in prime position, as they posted a total of 181-3.
In the Knight Riders’ reply, opener Nitish Rana’s 68 off 47 put them in a solid position. But the wickets of Robin Uthappa (35) and Dinesh Karthik (2) put Kolkata on 95-3 off 12.4 overs. Up stepped West Indian, Andre Russell whose 49 off 19 guided the Knight Riders to victory with two balls to spare.
Archer will face Khan on Friday when the Royals travel to the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to face the Sunrisers; the match will start at 2.30pm GMT. Both teams play on Sunday when the Sunrisers host the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan travel to play the Chennai Super Kings.
Every match of the IPL is available to watch on BT Sport, and Hotstar UK.