Rajasthan Royals thumped its latest win against Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs at its home IPL match. It was Jos Buttler striking the hefty score of 82 who cruised Royal’s inning to a palpable height. The score of 158 for 8 came up as the batsman steered the inning to the 17th over. The start was sturdy with Buttler and Sanju Samson hauling the score to 117 until 14.3 overs. In the chase, the home team up with a sturdy defense. The front-line bowlers were K Gowtham and Ish Sodhi, maintaining a strict economy, while taking down the crucial wickets. Kings Punjab could not pullup the victory even if Lokesh Rahul hammered an unbeaten 95 runs.
Rajasthan Royals had a change in batting lineup brining in K Gowtham from middle order to the top. Ajinkya Rahane was removed first in the fourth over followed by Gowtham before the powerplay overs. But Buttler’s enterprise hauled the score to 63 by the end of powerplay.
Lacking of hitting prowess seemed to be the season’s lacuna for the team. This issue magnified at Sawai Man Singh stadium in the latest match, notorious for stringent boundary condition despite being a small stadium. Buttler and Samson forged a partnership of 53 runs off 48 balls. Both of them were dismissed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman slogging the inning. In the final stretch, Andrew Tye knocked three wickets, also brining on the run-out of Stuart Binny.
In the chase, Kings Punjab faced the same oddity of the bowling pitch. In 3.4 overs, they were reduced to 3 wickets for 19 runs. Chris Gayle, R Ashwin and Karun Nair returned back by 3.4 overs. The only double digit run apart from Lokesh Rahul was from Marcus Stoinis, who scored 11 runs. After the powerplay overs, bowling became more stringent with Ish Sodhi on attack. In the three overs be bowled, Kings batsmen could scratch out 8 runs. By 12th over, the chase was stiffened to 5 wickets for 66 runs.
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