Kings XI Punjab on Sunday defeated Rajasthan Royals by six wickets at Indore. It was a comprehensive performance by the Punjab team and Rajasthan team is now in serious danger of missing out on the last four stage.
Here’s five talking points from Punjab’s win:
1. Rajasthan’s top order continues to struggle:
If you want to be a successful T20 side then the basic template is to have a settled top order, which is in form and scoring runs. Royals’ Achilles heel this season has been their top order and again on Sunday apart from Jos Buttler, they failed to perform. Captain Ajinkya Rahane (5), D’Arcy Short (2) again failed and misfiring top order has cost Royals big time this season.
2. Jos Buttler taking responsibility:
England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler had a very lukewarm first half of the season, but ever since he has started opening the batting, Buttler has found form and struck 51 off 39 balls against KXIP.
Buttler again played to his strengths and despite not finding adequate support from the other hand, Buttler found the right tempo and took RR to a respectable score.
3. Mujeeb Ur Rahman striking in middle overs:
When Afghanistan teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman was picked at the auction by Punjab franchise, it raised quite a few eyebrows and many thought he would be warming the benches. But, Rehman was named man-of-the-match for picking up three crucial wickets and has proved his mettle amid the galaxy of stars and his temperament under pressure has been fantastic and has been a find of this year’s IPL.
4. KL Rahul can play T20 cricket too:
Indian batsman KL Rahul has been pigeon-holed as a Test specialist, but in this year’s IPL, Rahul has proved his critics wrong and played a match-winning knock of 84 off 54 balls, all this while remaining unbeaten and taking his team home.
Rahul has always had the shots, but was sometimes afraid to play and also had the fear of getting out. IPL 2018 has been a very good tournament for Rahul and Punjab would be hoping that Rahul continues his good form.
5. RR are looking down and out:
Rajasthan Royals, the inaugural champions of IPL are looking short of confidence and short of ideas. The team led by Ajinkya Rahane is just going through the motions and is looking disjointed. The main problem for Royals has been ineffective performance of Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahane, Rahul Tripathi and if Royals need to make a comeback then they will have to win all their matches and hope for other results to turn in their favour.