Kings XI Punjab started their campaign on a winning note as they got the better of Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. However, the match grabbed headlines for the 'Mankading' controversy which involved Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler.
This incident took place during the 13th over of Rajasthan innings when Ashwin had dislodged the bails at the non-striker's end after he saw that Buttler had come down the pitch. After the bails were dislodged, the veteran off-spinner appealed for a run out and the decision went in his favour much to the dismay of the Rajasthani opening batsman who was not only left stunned but was also disappointed with Ashwin's tactics as the offie had not warned Buttler.
Buttler's disappointment was seen after the match as well as he refused to shake hands with the Punjab skipper.
The 'Mankading' incident went on to be the turning point of the match as Kings XI Punjab snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Rajasthan. The Royals who were chasing 185 were making a merry of the run chase with openers Jos Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane hitting the Punjab bowlers to all parts of the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. The duo put on a 78 run opening stand. Buttler carried on even after Rahane was castled for 27 by Ashwin. He was threatening to take the match away from Punjab with a quickfire 43-ball 69 which included 10 fours and two sixes at a strike rate of 160.47 and that is when he was dismissed in a bizarre manner. While the swashbuckling Englishman was still at the crease, Rajasthan required 77 runs off 43 deliveries with nine wickets in hand. Post Buttler's dismissal the Royals run chase lost its momentum as they lost their seven wickets for just 22 runs thereby handing Punjab a 14 run win.
At the post-match press conference, Ashwin went on to say that his actions were within the rules of the game and cannot be called unsporting. He also added that the action was very instinctive on his part.