Chasing 182 at the I.S. Bindra Stadium in Mohali is not generally considered a huge task, but Rajasthan Royals failed to do that against Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League encounter with the visitors falling short by 12 runs. In the match, Ashwin starred with the bat and bowl while KL Rahul smashed his 4th fifty of the edition to provide the hosts a perfect platform for a competitive total. Courtesy this win, KXIP have moved into the top-4 in the points table. (SCORECARD)
Jos Buttler and his new partner Rahul Tripathi provided Rajasthan Royals a quick start. Debutant Arshdeep Singh struck made an impressive outing as he removed the dangerous Englishman for 23. Post Buttler’s wicket, Tripathi and Sanju Samson who added 59 for the 3rd wicket in in 7.3 overs to keep RR on track. But, after Ashwin removed Samson (27), Royals stuttered to kept the chase on track.
Despite a solid start at the top from Jos Buttler, new opening partner Rahul Tripathi’s failure to convert a good start cost the team as he finished with a 45-ball 50.
Speaking at the end of the game, skipper Ajinkya Rahane refused to be too critical and said that it was just a matter of two big hits and things would have ended differently.
“182 on that wicket was quite chaseable. We started well. Just a matter of two sixes. A game like this, you can’t criticise too much. Our bowlers bowled well.
“In a chase like this, you can’t lose too many wickets in a bunch. Discussion between me and Stuart (Binny) was take it deep. Tripathi started really well. Should learn from our mistakes. These things happen in T20 cricket,” he said.
While the batsmen failed to take home the advantage, the bowlers were brilliant for the Royals. While pacer Jofra Archer stole the show with figures of 3/15 from his four overs, Rahane also praised the spin bowling duo of Ish Sodhi and Shreyas Gopal.
“Our two leg spinners in the middle overs were brilliant. Jofra’s four overs were critical,” he summed up.