Questions were raised by fans and experts alike when Punjab Kings picked Fabian Allen over Chris Gayle in their line-up Indian Premier League clash against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.
The Universe boss celebrated his 42nd birthday but his Caribbean counterpart was preferred by the KL Rahul-led team. Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen on commentary criticised PBKS for their decision to bench Gayle.
Fabian Allen, though proved to bring a different facet to the game for Punjab as he showed off his skills as an excellent fielder.
In the 12th over of the Rajasthan innings, Liam Livingstone looked threatening as PBKS looked to get rid of the Englishman as he had already smacked 14 runs of Arshdeep Singh, including a scoop over the keeper’s head and a 97-metre six.
The left-arm Indian pacer banged in a slower delivery into the pitch from around the wicket as Livingstone tried to pull the ball. As the ball looked destined to sail over the boundary ropes over deep mid-wicket, Punjab fans hoped for a miracle. But Fabian Allen had other plans.
The West Indian covered some ground and perfectly timed his jump to grand and then cling onto a stunning catch, inches from the boundary line.
Allen suspended himself midair as he completed the catch so much so that at impact, his watch on his left hand flew over the boundary once he landed. He however managed to hold on to the ball to send back the dangerous Livingstone.
As for the result of the match, Rajasthan made 185 all out with Arshdeep Singh claiming a five-wicket haul. Mohammed Shami picked up three wickets. Yashasvi Jaiswal was the top scorer for Rajasthan with a knock of 49 runs. Mahipal Lomror made a brisk 43 while Evin Lewis contributed with 36 runs.
In reply, Kartik Tyagi’s last-over heroics guided Rajasthan Royals to a nail-biting two-run victory over Punjab Kings. Punjab skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal approached the chase in the best way possible, raising a 120-run stand. The duo punished Rajasthan bowlers to all corners of the ground. Agarwal made 67, while Rahul was unlucky to miss his fifty by just one run. Punjab needed four runs in the last over but Tyagi conceded just one run and took two wickets to guide his team home.
(With inputs from Agencies)