Buttler keeps Rajasthan alive despite Rahul threat

Buttler keeps Rajasthan alive despite Rahul threat

Buttler keeps Rajasthan alive despite Rahul threat

Fast-forward to two days and the script came a full circle on Tuesday as Ajinkya Rahane and his boys put up a spirited show and defended their total despite Rahul's herculean effort.

Opener KL Rahul scored 95 runs from Punjab but could not save his team from a close defeat of 15 runs.

Rahul's gritty innings of 70-ball 95 were laced with some brilliant strokes.

D'Arcy Short's woeful lack of form will be one of the biggest worries for Rajasthan and could force yet another change in their opening combination if he makes way for another batsman.

Earlier, Rajasthan were bogged down to just 158 runs after a terrific start, but their bowlers ensured what their batmen scored proved more than enough.

Ish Sodhi also starred for the Royals on a sluggish surface, the New Zealand leg-spinner recording excellent figures of 1-14 from his four-over spell.

Kings XI's chase, however, started on a bad note as they lost risky Chris Gayle (8) and Mayank Agarwal (2) in successive overs.

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KKR and MI are placed 4th & 5th in the Points Table respectively.

By the end of 18th over, the required rate surged 23.5 an over which was almost impossible.

After the RR innings, Punjab pacer Andrew Tye said that it was important to score well in the power play as it will help later on in chasing that target. On a surface that looked dry and was expected to offer turn as the match progressed, Jos Buttler set the tone for his team, but there was little else of note from the rest of the batsmen. On a tricky wicket, Punjab lost wickets in bunches, refrained from developing stands and eventually went down at the Sawai Man Singh stadium by 15 runs on Tuesday.

Ajinkya Rahane (RR captain), "Really happy with the way we played".

"I wish we could have 2 or 3 Jos Buttlers, you can have him down the order, in the middle and at the top".

Earlier, Buttler led the way with a 82-run knock before Kings XI Punjab bowlers fought back. Andrew Tye was brilliant ending his spell with 34 for 4 in four overs. He and Mahipal Lomror had no wickets claimed in today's match.

Mujeeb Ur Rehman was chosen as the Player of the match for his splendid bowling. Samson (22) stayed on, as he and Buttler added 53 runs for the third wicket, but he was dismissed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who later returned to scalp Buttler too in the 17 over. Playing at their fortress in Jaipur, Rajasthan kept their unbeaten run against Punjab at home intact.

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