Rajasthan Royals defeated the Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in the 40th match of IPL 2018 to move up to the sixth place in the Points Table. Jos Butler won the ‘Man of the Match’ for his knock of 82 runs off 58 deliveries.
Rajasthan Royals won the toss and opted to bat first. They made three changes in their playing XI as they played Mahipal Lomror, Stuart Binny and Ish Sodhi in place of Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tripathi and D’Arcy Short. Kings XI Punjab also made two unnecessary changes as Mohit Sharma and Akshdeep Nath came in for Anureet Singh and Mayank Agarwal.
While opening the batting, captain Ajinkya Rahane once again failed as he got out for 9(10). After that, they did an experiment of sending Gowtham at number 3 which also failed as he also got out cheaply for 8 runs. After them, small knocks from Stokes and Samson along with Butler (who scored his third consecutive fifty) helped RR to post 158-8 on the board at the end of their 20 overs.
Andrew Tye displayed some tremendous death bowling where he took three wickets in the last over to Rajasthan for an reasonable low total. He finished with match figures of 4-0-34-4 where he got good support from Mujeeb ur Rahman (4-0-21-2).
Kings XI Punjab batted pathetically as no one in their batting line up reached to double digits except KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals which never allowed them to get into the match. Though, Rahul played till the last ball of the innings for his knock of 95* but due to the lack of partners at the other end, he could not finish the match in his team’s favor.
Krishnappa Gowtham who began the bowling for RR, bowled exceptionally well as he took the wicket of Gayle and Ashwin inside an over. Ish Sodhi also bowled a beautiful spell of 4-0-14-1. Stokes, Unadkat and Archer also took a wicket each to help RR win.
Even with this loss, Punjab stay at the third position in the Points Table with 12 points and they still look strong to not only qualify for the playoffs but also in the top two. RR also move a step closer towards the top four.