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IPL 2019: KL Rahul, R Ashwin shine as KXIP beat RR to move into top-4

R Ashwin starred with bat and ball while KL Rahul hit his 4th fifty of the 2019 Indian Premier League as Kings XI Punjab defeated Rajasthan Royals by 12 runs in Mohali on Tuesday to move into the top-4 in the points table.

KXIP now have 10 points from 9 matches while RR have lost 6 out of their 8 matches this season.

Chasing 183, Rajasthan Royals got off to a quick start. Ajinkya Rahane decided to bat down the order and promoted Rahul Tripathi to open the innings with Jos Buttler.

The Royals looking to run away with the game before Arshdeep Singh struck on debut to remove the dangerous opener for a 17-ball 23. But that set the tone for another fiery partnership – this time between Tripathi and Sanju Samson who added 59 for the 3rd wicket in in 7.3 overs to keep RR on track.

R Ashwin dismissed Samson for 27 in the 12th over and the asking rate had started climbing when Ajinkya Rahane joined Rahul Tripathi in the middle. But the pair was unable to really push on and the required rate created huge pressure.

Tripathi had a lucky escape in R Aswhin’s final over when wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran failed to stump him in time. However, Tripathi tried to hit a short ball outside off stump but only managed to hit it down the throat of Mayank Agarwal at long-off.

Ashton Turner, who replaced Steve Smith in the line-up, walked in to bat at a crucial time in the game. He was dismissed for ducks in his last 2 T20 innings (vs Adelaide Strikers and India). Turner tried to take on M Ashwin in his very first ball, mistimed it and was caught by David Miller.

Rajasthan Royals needed 50 runs off the last 3 overs with Ajinkya Rahane and Jofra Archer at the crease.

Archer had no option but to go after Mohammed Shami but he was held by KL Rahul at long-on. Stuart Binny came in and hit Shami for a 4 and 6 off the first two balls to give Royals a ray of hope again.

But Rahane was just not able to get on with it and he became debutant Arshdeep Singh’s second victim. Soon after, KXIP wrapped up victory to move to 10 points having now won 5 out of their 9 matches so far in the season.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan Royals dropped Steve Smith, included Ashton Turner and asked Kings XI Punjab to bat after Ajinkya Rahane won the toss.

Chris Gayle got off to another of his rapid starts before he fell to Jofra Archer for a 22-ball 30. Mayank Agarwal came out all guns blazing but he was snared by leg-spinner Ish Sodhi for a 12-ball 26.

David Miller, in at No.4, did what he does best – attack the bowlers straightaway. While he played his shots, KL Rahul took his time to get in but he picked up pace with 6 overs left in the KXIP innings.

During the course of his 52, Rahul went past 1000 runs in only his 23rd innings for KXIP after they bought him for Rs 11 crore in the 2018 player auction.

Jofra Archer produced his career-best figures of 3 for 15 to lead a strong fight for the Royals and it was only thanks to David Miller’s aggressive 40 and R Ashwin’s last over assault on Dhawal Kulkarni that KXIP were able to get to a competitive total.

The Mankading row had dominated a thriller between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab 3 weeks ago. The Mohali clash between the two sides saw some fascinating cricket. KL Rahul took his time to get going but he showed why India trust him so much to take him to the World Cup despite little international cricket this year.

David Miller and R Aswhin played some stunning shots after Chris Gayle’s rapid start. Rahul Tripathi repaid Rahane’s faith after the Royals skipper promoted him up the order.

Kings XI Punjab next take on an in-form Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla on April 20 while Rajasthan Royals will host Mumbai Indians in Jaipur the same day.

Also Read | IPL 2019: KL Rahul storms past 1000 runs for KXIP in only his 23rd match

Also Read | IPL 2019: Enjoying my batting, says KL Rahul after consistent performances for Kings XI

Source: indiatoday.in

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