Gusty #KLRahul took #KXIP closer but #RR held their nerves this time.
It was a complete turnaround for the Double R’s when they met Kings XI Punjab yesterday, RR batted decently and bowled very well to stay in hunt of the playoffs.
On Sunday when Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals met each other at Indore, the KIXIP bowlers were on top and Rajasthan fumbled in their bowling.
But yesterday when these two teams met again at Jaipur, RR turned the tables to their favor.
RR won the toss and opted to bat first, this time they displayed an innings of class from England’s Jos Buttler.
Rajasthan had a Royal Buttler who took them to a decent score.
But the rest of the Rajasthan’s batsmen ruined it all.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane opened with Buttler in this match and dashing Buttler smacked the KXIP bowlers from ball number 1.
It was Buttler who went on to take the KXIP bowlers on and Skipper Rahane was calm at the other end.
A quick-fire opening partnership that put RR in commanding position, due to Buttler’s fireworks RR added 37 runs in 3.4 overs.
As soon as the Aussie bowler Andrew Tye was introduced to the attack, he picked the wicket of Rahane who was about to get set and hammer KXIP from the other end.
But Tye removed Rahane and gave them a royal breakthrough. The future Indian test captain was out on a knuckleball. Rahane was out on just 9 runs.
Krishnappa Gowtham was sent ahead of skipper Sanju Samson, unfortunately for the Royals that didn’t work. Gowtham was out very quickly after Rahane.
Gowtham went for a slog of a length delivery and miscues it, he managed to score only 8 runs.
Then came the in-form player Sanju Samson, he batted decently but blazing Butter.
He and Buttler took the RR decent score when they reached the 14th over mark.
But Samson didn’t convert his start and got out to Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Samson went for slog on a tossed up delivery but his bat turned and he ended up hit that ball to Manoj Tiwari who was standing at the long on region. Samson was out for 22 runs.
After breaking this stand, KXIP bowlers were back in the game.
Kings XI Punjab bowlers bowled some tight overs which allowed R to score freely.
Even Buttler who scored in quick rate was found struggling. Buttler played well and scored his 3rd IPL fifty on the trot.
Buttler needed to guide the innings all the way through the 20 over mark, as Ben Stokes joined his partner at the crease.
The two England men batted around for a bit but KXIP gave a big blow to Double R’s.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman a man with a golden arm for Kings XI, struck again. This time he gave a big wicket of Buttler who was out after playing a fine knock.
Buttler was out on a quicker short delivery which was missed by Buttler, he was stumped by KL Rahul behind the stumps. Buttler was out after playing a lovely hand and was out for 82 runs.
After this price wicket, Kings XI Punjab struck in regular intervals and hampered the scoring of the Royals.
It was important for Stokes to stoke the ball well in the last few overs.
But the wickets of Binny was a big one for KXIP. He was run out for just 11 runs.
Then Stokes also perished in the last over and the three wickets also damaged the Rajasthan innings.
Andrew Tye picked 3 wickets in the last over and restricted Rajasthan Royals to just 158 runs.
This was not a good target set by RR, the way they started the innings and went on the proceedings the score looked good near 190 to 200 run mark.
But Kings XI Punjab bowled superbly, they made a brilliant comeback in this match.
Andrew Tye took 4 wickets and gave a fitting tribute to his beloved grandmother, who left heavenly abode a few days before.
With Tye, Mujeeb Ur Rahman took 2 wickets and Marcus Stoinis took 1 wicket each.
Chasing the modest target of 159 runs Kings XI Punjab fell over the Royals.
Only KL Rahul Stood and played like a true king and the rest turned out to devils for KXIP.
Players like Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, and Marcus Stoinis fell very early and kept RR in the hunt.
KL Rahul was the one who played a matured knock and he was there till the last ball of the 20th over.
KXIP experimented again and they failed yet again, Ravichandran Ashwin promoted himself at number 3.
But he was out on the first ball he faced from Krishnappa Gowtham. Ash was clean bowled for a golden duck.
Then the new players like Manoj Tiwari and Akshdeep Nag were also promoted instead of Marcus Stonis. But they also failed to bat with KL Rahul who held the KXIP innings together.
And Axar Patel was given another chance to prove his worth as a batsman but he too didn’t hang around with the solid KL Rahul.
KL Rahul was the one who held the innings together for KXIP and kept them in the hunt.
But the slowness of the pitch and the wickets fell at the other end didn’t allow KL Rahul to be in a full flow.
He took the Kings XI Punjab innings towards the 20 over mark but Kings XI Punjab fell short by just 13 runs in this chase.
This was mainly because of awesome innings played by Karnataka’s KL Rahul. He registered his highest score in the IPL history. He was unbeaten on 95 runs.
In the end, Rajasthan Royals survived the Rahul threat and beat KXIP by 13 runs.
RR bowlers bowled well, Krishnappa Gowtham took 2 wickets, with him Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Ben Stokes, and Jaydev Unadkat took 1 wicket each to their name.
Jos Buttler was named the man of the match for his match winning 82 runs.