Rajasthan Royals, placed third from bottom, are already without several England stars such as Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, but they have Liam Livingstone, Evin Lewis and Tabraiz Shamsi as replacements. On Tuesday night, Sanju Samson's team takes on KL Rahul's Punjab Kings, who are placed one place below. Follow ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary here. And our Hindi coverage here.
Kartik Tyagi, take a bow!
At times it felt like Kings were yawning through the latter half of the chase after Agarwal and Rahul got out, which perhaps was part of the problem. They let it drag out and drag out, lacking the killer instinct to put the match to sleep. The door was left ever so slightly ajar and Kartik Tyagi has snuck through to steal victory for Royals at the finish line. It's rare to see a team lose when they have eight wickets in hand heading into the final over but Kings have somehow managed to do just that. As the saying goes, it ain't over till the fat lady sings! What a finish and we hope you've enjoyed the coverage today. Stay tuned for the full report and come back tomorrow for more IPL action. I'm Peter Della Penna, take care!
What on earth is going on here?!
Kings needed 10 off 15, then four off six balls. But Kartik Tyagi has pulled off an epic heist with a miraculous final over conceding just one run while taking two wickets to deny Kings at the finish. Kings dominated the majority of this match but Royals will take full points!
Set pair gone, but Kings still power on
Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul fall in the space of eight balls, but Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran have taken the baton and continued running toward the finish line. Rahul imitated Jaiswal's first innings knock falling one short of a half-century, but he still managed to become the second fastest to 3,000 runs in IPL history. Only the birthday boy Chris Gayle has done it in fewer innings. At the final strategic timeout, Kings need a very simple 32 off 24 balls with eight wickets in hand.
Mayank passes 2000 runs, brings up 50
Kings continue to cruise toward the target. A pair of sixes by Mayank Agarwal flicked over fine leg off Chris Morris land in the upper deck and then again just short in the second tier with the black draping over the seats to bring up a half-century off 34 balls and 2,000 career IPL runs. Earlier in this innings, KL Rahul brought up 3,000 runs for Punjab Kings. The partnership, which has been full of landmarks already, passes into three figures soon after with a flick off the pads by Rahul to the fine leg rope for four before Agarwal ends a punishing 10th over against Morris with a drive over extra cover for four more.
Rahul's charmed stay at the crease
Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul continues to benefit from butterfingers in the field from Rajasthan Royals. After the two earlier chances at backward point on 2 dropped by Evin Lewis and on 29 at mid-on spilled by Riyan Parag, he's now notched his third extra life on 31 thanks to Chetan Sakariya at short fine leg. Mustafizur sent down a leg stump delivery on the pads that was flicked toward Sakariya. Almost a carbon copy of the chance put down by Lewis as Sakariya had to move a step right and lunged for this at around thigh height but it pops in and out. Rahul has now brought up a half-century opening sand with Mayank Agarwal just after the conclusion of the Powerplay.
Arshdeep's historic feats in Dubai
In case you missed it, Arshdeep's maiden IPL five-wicket haul was special for a number of reasons. Meanwhile, big moment early in the chase off the bat of KL Rahul is spilled on 2 by Evin Lewis, who can't hold on to a cut at backward point while lunging to his right at waist height. He's bashed Chetan Sakariya for a pair of sixes in the fourth over, the second of which has taken him past 3,000 runs for Punjab Kings in the IPL. Moments later, Rahul is dropped again on 29, arguably an even easier chance chipping a full delivery from Chris Morris over mid-on where Riyan Parag fumbles a straightforward opportunity with his hands too close to his chest while backpedaling from the ring.
Kings, Arshdeep looking regal at the death
Lomror was threatening to rampage past 50 and take Royals past 200 along with him. But Arshdeep continues to stunt momentum with another pothole anytime Royals want to floor it on the accelerator. Lomror is caught mistiming a drive to Markram down the ground. The South African keeps busy pouching another two catches at long-on and long-off coming from the bowling of Shami as Royals boundaries continue to dry up in the waning stages of this innings. Arshdeep has followed it up claiming a skied chance off his own bowling for an IPL career-best fourth wicket. But he's not done. A yorker speared into the stumps on the final ball of the innings caps off a maiden IPL five-wicket haul for Arshdeep Singh. Royals all out for 185. Just 17 runs off the final three overs for Royals spluttering into the finish line.
Who says players don't scoreboard watch?
And is there such a thing as the nervous 40s? Jaiswal was playing very confidently through his first 10 overs at the crease, reaching 40 off 26 balls with five fours and two sixes. But he spent what seemed like an eternity in the 40s as Livingstone and then Mahipal Lomror continued to pepper the boundary at the opposite end of the pitch. As the nerves continued to build, the inevitable happened. A leading edge floating to extra cover where Mayank Agarwal takes out a pin to burst another party balloon.
The wicket almost works to Royals advantage though. Now that Jaiswal is gone, so is the nudging and nurdling through the 40s. Lomror has just hammered Deepak Hooda for two sixes and a pair of fours in a 24-run 16th over heading into the last strategic timeout.
Liam Livingstone looked like he was in a mood for a big score after ramping a boundary and then heaving a six off the facade of the upper deck off Arshdeep in the 12th. But Fabian Allen has reprised his fielding heroics from the CPL and West Indies colors with a Superman cape effort flying along the boundary at deep midwicket to intercept another would-be boundary. Arshdeep blows a kiss to Livingstone to send him on his way. Meanwhile, Jaiswal is closing in on a maiden IPL fifty.
Arshdeep blows out an opening candle
Kings' left-arm variation specialist flummoxes Evin Lewis with a full pace delivery shoveled to captain Mayank Agarwal on the ring. And now Kings continue to fight back with another stiff punch to the jaw after the first strategic timeout as Sanju Samson edges Ishan Porel behind for KL Rahul to take a nonchalant one-handed catch reaching high to his right.
Evin Lewis is starting his own party
The fellow West Indian left-hander doesn't appear to be shedding any tears for Gayle's absence from this match. Instead, he's shredding Punjab's bowling attack. After pumping a six and four straight down the ground in the first few overs, Lewis crunches four boundaries off Ishan Porel in the fourth over, the last one a sizzling drive through extra cover. He received his maiden Royals cap earlier today from assistant coach Trevor Penney. It's my duty to inform you, as ESPNcricinfo's resident American on staff, that Penney at one time served as an assistant coach for USA on a World Cricket League tour of Uganda in May 2017 while Lewis has at times also appeared as a ringer in club tournaments around the USA. As you can tell, both he and Lewis have moved on to bigger and better things.
We're not the only ones feeling like Gayle's birthday bash has become a bummer
Oh, Punjab Kings dont have @henrygayle in the playing XI. Not a gratifying 42nd birthday gift for the T20 Master Blaster!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 21, 2021
Meanwhile, play is underway with Yashasvi Jaiswal peppering the square boundaries on both sides of the wicket for a pair of fours off Mohammed Shami in the opening over of play.
The party music has stopped. The Universe Boss has been brought back down to earth by being left out of today's XI as Kings captain KL Rahul has won the toss, chosen to bowl first and opted for Aiden Markram at No. 3. Or does that mean Gayle now has more leisurely time to devour his birthday cake in the dugout??? Glass half-full or half-empty? Decisions decisions....
Happy birthday, Universe Boss!
Day three of the resumption of the IPL in the UAE coincides with the 42nd birthday for one of the iconic players in the tournament's history, now plying his trade with Punjab Kings. What could he possibly have in store today to mark the occasion? A win would help dig the Kings out of the bottom half of the table, where they sit alongside Royals in second to last place at the moment.