Andrew Tye finished with 4 for 34 © AFP
Andrew Tye, now the Purple Cap holder, finished with 4 for 34 © IANS

Rajasthan Royals (RR) posted 158 for 8 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur in Match 40 of ongoing the VIVO IPL 2018. Riding on Jos Buttler’s 82, RR have posted a decent total on board, but were certainly on course for more. In is a do-or-die encounter, will the RR bowlers be able to negate the KL Rahul-Chris Gayle threat to earn 2 points for their side?

Ajinkya Rahane opted to bat first. This is only the fourth such instance of a side opting to bat in IPL 11. He explained that the wicket was best suited for batters early in the match, and came into the contest with three changes. He also shuffled the batting order to bank on the Powerplay overs, and keep Ben Stokes and the likes for latter half.

Rahane and Buttler opened the innings. Ravichandran Ashwin used only one spinner in the first 6 overs and rotated his pacers. Andrew Tye removed Rahane, who fell prey yet again to a slower ball. Buttler took on Akshar Patel, and timed beautifully in the Powerplay overs. Sanju Samson struggled for timing but helped Buttler add 53 for the third wicket.

Buttler was pushed into a corner with Ashwin and Mujeeb Ur Rahman operating in tandem. At that stage he had also lost Samson. His fifty had taken 27 balls, but he got only 32 off the next 31 balls he faced. Had he not been stumped off Mujeeb, he would have been the third Englishman to score an IPL ton.

The onus fell on Stuart Binny and Stokes to up the ante in the final overs. Binny hit a beautiful straight six, but his run out added pressure on Stokes. Mohit Sharma and Tye’s full-length deliveries and knuckle balls became too much to handle for RR’s lower order. They conceded the momentum after a good start. They lost wickets in a heap at the end, and could only score 27 off the last 4 overs.

Brief scores:

Rajasthan Royals 158 for 8 in 20 overs (Jos Butter 82, Sanju Samson 22, Ben Stokes 14; Andrew Tye 4 for 34, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2 for 21) vs Kings XI Punjab