As Jofra Archer steamed in to bowl, Punjab’s in-form opening pair was right there to tackle him but little did they expect a snorter from the Englishman, forcing Mandeep Singh to balloon his shot in the air. However, it seemingly was dying on Ben Stokes before a magical leap helped him get there.
In a must-win encounter for both sides, Kings XI Punjab lost the toss and were sent into bat, in conditions that seemingly favourable to seam bowling early on. The contest between Jofra Archer and KL Rahul, a batsman that the right-arm pacer has not dismissed in the IPL, was an intriguing one for all fans of the game. In the 46 balls that Archer has bowled to the right-handed batsman, he had conceded 78 runs without getting any rewards. In the game though, after dodging for the first four deliveries, Rahul got himself off the strike to allow Mandeep Singh feel the presence for the English star as well.
Archer’s short-ball this season has accounted for most of the batsman, so when the right-handed Mandeep marked his guard to bat, the short-ball was around the corner. The English all-rounder in full-steam ran and bowled a ‘snorter’ of delivery, giving the right-hander with no other option but to balloon one to the fielder at the point.
Now, while Archer did bowl it at nearly 140 kmphs, the ball of his gloves did not quite have the pace to carry to the fielder Ben Stokes, or at least that’s what Mandeep was expecting. However, a superman-esque dive from Stokes in all completed a brilliant wicket for the Royals, in what was a perfect trap from the English pacer. What a start for the Royals and a contrasting start for the Kings. It also gave Archer his 18th dismissal, moving past RCB's Yuzvendra Chahal in the Purple Cap race, which Rabada is heading with 23 wickets.
Watch the wicket here: