Rajasthan Royals 152-9 (Jos Buttler 51, Sanju Samson 28, Mujeeb ur Rahman 3-27, Andrew Tye 2-24) lost to Kings XI Punjab 155-4 in 18.4 overs (KL Rahul 84*, Karun Nair 31) by 6 wickets.
KL Rahul’s brilliance (84* from 54) after young off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s exploits with the ball guided Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at Indore on Sunday.
The result meant that Punjab, who had lost their last two games, jumped to third place while Rajasthan continued to languish at the bottom.
Chasing a modest 153 run target, Rahul anchored the Punjab innings from start to finish. His 84 comprised of seven boundaries and three sixes as his side romped home with eight balls to spare.
Punjab’s chase, however, started on a bad note as they lost dangerous Chris Gayle (8) and Mayank Agarwal (2) in successive overs. While Gayle cut Jofra Archer straight to Sanju Samson at point in the fourth over, Agarwal pulled a short delivery from Ben Stokes to Rahul Tripathi at long leg.
Then, Rahul and Karun Nair (31) shared a 50-run stand for the third wicket from 37 balls to stabilise Punjab’s chase before the latter dragged Anureet Singh’s short delivery back onto his stumps. Axar Patel (4) too didn’t last long as he holed out in the deep to Krishnappa Gowtham.
But Rahul went about his business calmly and guided Kings XI’s chase by holding fort at one end. The Karnataka opener did not attempt any extravagant shots.
“I always try to back my shots, never try to slog. I’ve learned that doesn’t suit me and I know if I can keep my shape, I can succeed even in T20s, said KL Rahul”
Rahul brought up his fifty in the 17th over with an upper cut six off Jofra Archer to bring down the equation to 27 runs off 18 balls. Rahul and Marcus Stoinis (23*) shared an unbeaten 68 run-stand for the fifth wicket to comfortably take Punjab to victory.
Here’s the HIGHLIGHTS of Match:
Man of the Match: Mujeeb ur Rahman, for his bowling spell of 4-0-27-3.