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IPL: Rahul, Ashwin script Punjab's 12-run win over Rajasthan

MOHALI: Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and opener KL Rahul performed pivotal roles as Kings XI Punjab produced a very good all-round performance to script a relaxed 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals in a 2d leg IPL conflict to deliver their campaign back heading in the right direction.


Opener Rahul hit a 47-ball 52, while Ashwin (2/24) smashed 17 off 4 balls within the final over and then took two the most important wickets as KXIP bounced back after successive losses within the final two suits to file their 5th win in this IPL.

Invited to bat, Rahul, who was once named in India's World Cup squad on Monday, and David Miller (40 off 27) shared a 85-run stand to put the root.

Ashwin then smashed a 4 and successive sixes within the final two balls to position KXIP in a powerful position.

The hosts then returned to restrict Rajasthan to 170 for seven, courtesy some very good bowling by means of Ashwin and Murugan Ashwin (1/24) within the heart overs after Arshdeep Singh's maiden two IPL wickets. Mohammed Shami was once dear however got here good within the ultimate overs, scalping two wickets.

After this win, KXIP Punjab grabbed the fourth spot within the issues table with 10 issues to keep play-off hopes alive.

However, it was once Rajasthan's sixth loss and they will need to pull up their socks if they have got to salvage any hopes of constructing it to the knockout degree.

Defending the overall, KXIP disregarded the big-hitting Jos Buttler (23) early as Rajasthan reached 55 within the first six over.

After blasting two sixes and one 4, Buttler was once stuck by means of keeper Pooran as younger pacer Arshdeep scalped his maiden IPL wicket.

Opener Rahul Tripathi (50) and Sanju Samson (27 off 21) added 59 runs to take Rajasthan on the subject of the 100-mark.

However, after two tight overs, Ashwin produced the breakthrough with a carrom ball within the 12th over when he cleaned up Samson, who regarded to play a sweep shot.

Shami then returned most effective to concede 11 runs with Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane sending him across the rope.

Needing 66 off final six overs, Tripathi finished his fifty in 44 balls prior to being stuck at lengthy off boundary by means of Agarwal off Ashwin.

Australian Ashton Turner's IPL debut ended with a first-ball naught, while Jofra Archer was once send back by means of Shami as RR slumped to 133 for five in 17.1 overs.

Stuart Binny scored a quickfire 11-ball 33 now not out but it was once now not enough as Rahane too was once disregarded in pursuit of quick runs.

Earlier in-form Rahul performed a managed innings after he lost his opening spouse Chris Gayle (30) prior to powerplay.

Gayle hit 3 sixes and two boundaries prior to being sent back by means of Archer as KXIP had been 39-1 on the finish of powerplay.

The dashing opener dispatched Unadkat for 2 sixes in his first over, then hit Dhawal Kulkarni for a six and a 4 prior to edging one off Archer into the fingers of wicket keeper Sanju Samson.

Mayank Agarwal, who walked in after Gayle's fall, regarded unhealthy however did not final lengthy. He made 26 of 12 balls and was once claimed by means of RR's New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi as Punjab slipped to 67 for 2.

Rahul then attempted to steady the ship with Miller, who got here into the facet because of the last-minute ankle damage of Australian allrounder Moises Henriques.

In the 14th over, Rahul and Miller exploded after mentioning the hundred for KXIP. The duo accumulated 19 runs off Sodhi's over with Rahul smoking a large six over deep sq. leg and Miller thumping one over long-off.

The two batsmen piled up 20 runs within the next over with Rahul clearing the quilt with an inside-out shot for a six off Unadkat, and Miller disposing a full-toss over deep midwicket.

Rahul was once then picked up by means of medium pacer Jaidev Unadkat within the 18th over with the opener hitting immediately to Archer at level.

Punjab then lost Nicholas Pooran (5) and Mandeep Singh (0) -- both claimed by means of Archer in his final over, while Miller too passed a catch to Buttler off Kulkarni within the 20th over as Punjab slipped to 164 for 6.

Ashwin then smashed a 4 and successive sixes within the final two balls to position KXIP in a powerful position.

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