IPL 2018: Buttler hoping for fairytale as RR keep play-off hopes alive

first_imgRajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler was pleased with his form at the top of the order as he smashed a match-winning 82 against Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Tuesday.Batting first, Royals rode on Buttler’s 58-ball blitzkrieg which was laced with 9 fours and a six to post 158/8.Buttler was also involved in a 53-run stand with Sanju Samson for the third wicket. For KXIP, Andrew Tye picked up fur wickets while Mujeeb Ur Rahman maintained his good form to finish with 2/21.MATCH REPORT | HIGHLIGHTSIn reply, KL Rahul waged a lone war hammering an unbeaten 95 off 70 deliveries but it was not good enough as KXIP fell 15 runs short of target.”Opening is a nice change for me. Working wonders. It’s hard to work out what a good score is batting first. After six overs we thought It’ll be 180-200, but things slowed down. With KL Rahul batting well, there’s no safe score. You’re never quiet sure. With the field up, you have a lot of options to clear the infield, which is different to batting near the end, where you have to clear the outfield,” Buttler said at the post match presentation ceremony.Buttler was named the man-of-the-match as Royals kept their unbeaten record vs KXIP at Jaipur intact with their fifth victory.”Boys played well as a team, so we can take that confidence in the next game. We’re still fighting, still in the tournament. Winning breeds confidence.”K Gowtham had struck early blows when he snared Chris Gayle and R Ashwin in the third over to rock the KXIP chase.advertisementPunjab’s situation worsened further as Jofra Archer dismissed an in-form Karun Nair (3) to leave the visitors reeling at 17/4.Akshdeep Nath (9) then joined Rahul to add 26 runs for the fourth wicket, taking Punjab to 45 runs. However, just when the combination was settling, Ish Sodhi struck to make the damage bigger after sending back Akshdeep in the ninth over.Manoj Tiwary and Rahul then tried to repair the damage but once again their effort went in vain as Tiwary gave an easy catch to Ajinkya Rahane off a Ben Stokes in the 12th over.Despite wickets falling at regular intervals, Rahul kept one end secured but lacked support from others.Axar Patel (9) too, failed to show some fight and departed in the 14th over after adding 15 runs with the opener to take his side to 81 runs.Meanwhile, Rahul brought up his fourth fifty of the season in the same over.With Punjab needing 32 runs in the final over, Marcus Stoinis (11) departed while trying to go for the maximum off Jaydev Unadkat.Rahul tried his best to to take his side home, smashing 14 runs of the final over, which was however, not good enough as the visitors could only managed to reach 143/7.For the hosts, Gowtham emerged with impressive figures of 2/12 off his three overs while Archer, Unadkat, Stokes and Sodhi bagged a wicket each.(With inputs from IANS)last_img

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