Kings XI Punjab may have notched up their first victory in the Indian Premier League, but the biggest headline from the match came from skipper Ravichandran Ashwin’s controversial run out of Jos Buttler. While bowling the fifth ball of his final over, Ashwin seemed to have stopped in his action and waited for Buttler to leave his crease. He, then, Mankaded the non-striker and appealed. Third umpire Bruce Oxenford upheld it and Buttler was furious. (What is ‘Mankading’?)
Some criticised the move as Buttler became the first victim of 'Mankading' in the history of the IPL.
While many lauded Ashwin’s move, there were plenty of memes shared on social media of the incident. While some pointed to a reference to ‘Mankading’ in a scene from Lagaan, others shared memes to capture the mood of the debate about the rules of the game and the spirit in which it should be played.
- Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) March 25, 2019
- Kaabira. (@KaabiraSpeaking) March 25, 2019
- _shake (@aao_twist_kare) March 25, 2019
Ashwin’s jersey says "Aaj Tak – Sabse Tez"
He literally takes a wicket before the delivery is even bowled.#RRvKXIP
- Appurv Gupta-GuptaJi (@appurv_gupta) March 25, 2019
- Gulshan Laassi (@gulshanlassi) March 25, 2019
- Chowkidar Ajit Yadav (@lamajityadav) March 25, 2019
- Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) March 25, 2019
- MunNaa (@Munnaa09) March 25, 2019
Buttler's dismissal sparked a collapse for RR, who then lost seven wickets. Chasing down 185, the side only managed to get to 170/9 in 20 overs.
Ashwin defended his actions. "It was very instinctive. It was not planned. It is there within the rules of the game. I don't know where the understanding of the spirit of the game comes because, if it is there in the rules it is there," the bowler said in the post-match press conference.
Interestingly, Buttler had been ‘Mankaded’ by Sachithra Senanayake during an ODI against Sri Lanka at Birmingham in 2014. Buttler had defended the bowler after he was criticised. "It is obviously the batsman's error," he had said, adding: "If you walk out of your ground and someone wants to do it, it is in the laws of the game. It is all part of the game."