Rajasthan Royals won the match by 15 runs against the Kings XI Punjab at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. Jos Buttler was awarded the Man of the Match for his exceptional, stormy innings of 82 that took the host to a competetive total. Team Circle of Cricket gets down to list the 5 talking points of the match.
Jos Buttler's stormy innings
Once again it was Jos Buttler for Rajasthan Royals who played an eruptive inning of 82 runs that sail the ship of Rajasthan Royal to 158 runs. Jos Buttler played an explosive knock in the top order which led Rajasthan to cross 150 on the scoreboard.
Jos Buttler hit his third consecutive half-century playing in the top order. Buttler playing so well at the top order feels like finally, the Britisher has gained his batting slot. It was a treat to watch Buttler go after Punjab bowlers. Ajinkya Rahane, the skipper of Rajasthan Royals was extracted early in the innings, giving his wicket away to Andrew Tye.
Punjab bowlers pulling things back
Kings XI bowlers bowled really well in the death overs, with taking 5 wickets for only 38 runs. At one point of the stage, it was looking that Rajasthan would easily cross 200 but the way Punjab bowlers bowled to restrict Rajasthan Royals was remarkable.
Andrew Tye got 4 wickets to his name after he had three wickets in the last over of the first innings and currently is the Purple cap holder with 16 wickets in the tournament. Young Mujeeb of Afghanistan also impressed others with his bowling spell. International player Ben Stokes again failed to perform, while batting he only managed to score 14 off 11 deliveries.
Punjab lose early wickets in the power play
Chasing a target of 159 was not difficult for a batting line-up like Kings XI Punjab, but Gowtham's magical over that took Gayle and Ashwin's wicket had given Punjab a mini heart attack. To make matter worse for the visitors, Karun Nair failed to attempt a bouncer and hence fall prey to Jofra Archer.
The team of Punjab registered their lowest power-play score with three wickets already in the first six overs, slipped the match from their hands. Rajasthan Royals had the match in control with giving away very few runs in the middle overs. KL Rahul was still on the crease, struggling to score runs on a slow pitch.
Punjab slide further in the middle overs
After the batting powerplay was over, Kings XI Punjab was in a big whole of trouble where it was Kl Rahul who was batting like a lone warrior for his team. After being restricted to 33 for 3 after 6 overs, KXIP remained in troubled waters for the next six overs as well.
They added 33 more for the loss of two more wickets. Interestingly, RR also had added 33 runs from overs 6-12 but had lost only one wicket in that period. The coincidence did not bring any solace for the Punjab unit as with fewer wickets left, they failed to accelerate as per the required rate.
Rajasthan Royals had a more proper grip on to the match where it was a rough day for the KXIP players.
Kl Rahul's 95 in vain as RR revive their playoff chances
Kl Rahul was unbeaten for his 95 runs as Rajasthan Royal had won the match from 15 runs. Kl Rahul played a very magnificent role batting through the innings, scoring his highest individual score of IPL and naming Orange Cap under his hammer. Rahul started to shift gears when the equation had gone out of hand, he clobbered 29 runs off 10 balls.
With this easy win, Rajasthan has gained two crucial points in the ladder to stay alive in the tournament. Now they just have to win all their remaining matches where the other is still comfortably sitting on the third spot.