IPL 2018: Rajasthan Bt KXIP by 15 Runs, Keep Play-Off Hopes Alive
IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals defeated Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in the Indian Premier League.
- Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in Jaipur on Tuesday night.
- Batting first, Rajasthan scored 158/8 and then restricted KXIP to 143/7.
- The win keeps Rajasthan in the race for the play-offs as they move up to the sixth spot. Punjab remain third.
Chris Gayle and skipper R Ashwin (batting at one down) were packed off in the third over and there really was no coming back from there for Kings XI Punjab as they lost to Rajasthan Royals by 15 runs on Tuesday night in Jaipur.
Chasing Rajasthan’s 158/8, KXIP’s top-scorer KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 95 but regular wickets led to too many slow overs in the middle as the Punjab were restricted to 143/7.
Despite the loss, Punjab remain at the third spot in the standings while Rajasthan move up to sixth, keeping alive their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs.
(For more IPL results, updates and videos, visit The Quint’s IPL website.)
After putting up only 158 on the board, the home team staged a strong fightback with the ball as it restricted Kings XI Punjab to 143/7 in the stipulated 20 overs.
RR reduced Kings to 19 for three in the fourth over and the visitors struggled to recover from the horrendous start, as they soon found themselves stuttering at 45 for four and then 66 for five, with eight overs left.
For Kings XI Punjab, Rahul played the lone ranger with 95 off 70 balls, his fourth half century of the ongoing league. KXIP needed 32 runs in the last over and Rahul's six and two fours were not enough.
The dream start was provided by Krishnappa Gowtham as the off-spinner sent back the dangerous Chris Gayle with the first ball of the third over. The spinner slid one down the leg side and Gayle charged down the wicket, only to be excellently stumped by Buttler.
The massive breakthrough spurred Royals and they soon had more reason to cheer as Gowtham removed KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, who promoted himself up the order, two balls later.
Jofra Archer then got into the act as he had Karun Nair hitting one high in the air for Jaidev Unadkat to complete a well-judged catch.
Wickets kept falling and runs were to hard to come by but Rahul held fort, mixing caution with aggression with his team in a crisis situation.
Ish Sodhi bowled beautifully to not only take a wicket - of Akshdeep Nath -- but also stymie the KXIP run rate. The New Zealand leg-spinner's turning deliveries and variations had the legendary Shane Warne applauding from the dugout.
Earlier, Jos Buttler led the way with a 82-run knock before Kings XI Punjab bowlers fought back. Buttler began Royals' innings in earnest, hitting Marcus Stoinis for two successive boundaries in the first over. The Englishman looked in rampaging form as he smashed Axar Patel for a six over over extra cover before going inside out to collect a boundary.
Pacer Andre Tye was the most successful KXIP bowler, returning with figures of 4/34, while mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman picked up 2/21 in his four overs.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed by Tye, who fooled the batsman with a knuckle ball, inducing an edge to extra cover. But Buttler continued his onslaught on the Rajasthan bowlers as he picked two consecutive boundaries off Tye.
Gowtham, too, fell quickly as he was sent back by Stoinis in the seventh over.
A half century partnership then ensued between Buttler and the talented Sanju Samson (22) but the run rate dropped as the Royals batsmen, including the Englishman, struggled to find the boundaries.
After the brisk start, there was a period in the middle overs when Rajasthan Royals failed to hit a boundary for 25 balls. Buttler finally managed a boundary off Mujeeb Ur Rahman and then got a four off the bowling of Axar, thanks to poor fielding by Tye.
But that was it as RR again went without a boundary for 14 deliveries before Samson produced a flat-batted six off Ravichandran Ashiwn, sending the ball over long-off.
Samson brought up the fifty partnership by playing Ashwin for another boundary, but Mujeeb struck for Kings XI Punjab when he had the batsman who struggled to play freely during his 18-ball stay in the middle.
Finally, Buttler's innings came to an end when Mujeeb had him stumped with Royals' score reading 132 for four in the 17th over. He stuck nine fours and a six.
Stuart Binny hit Tye for a six but Rajasthan simply lost their after a flying start.
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