Ever since he was promoted to the top of the order, the England wicketkeeper-batsman responded with knocks of 67 and 51 against Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab, respectively, and here, it was no different as he started off in aggressive fashion.
Rahul's gritty innings of 70-ball 95 were laced with some brilliant strokes.
Jofra Archer has been doing pretty well for RR and he was the one who dismissed the risky Chris Gayle early on in the chase, that would make for a delightful battle tonight.
It was another much needed win for slow starters Mumbai, who had beaten KXIP on Friday.
The spinner slid one down the leg side and Gayle charged down the wicket, only to be excellently stumped by Buttler.
Gowtham did the trick again two balls later to get rid of Ravichander Ashwin for a naught. Nair's dismissal at an individual score of 3 - when the scoreboard read 19/3 - meant Kings were in a spot of bother and the hosts smelled an opportunity. From his three overs i.e. seventh, ninth and eleventh, Sodhi conceded just 14 runs and accounted for the wicket of debutant Akshadeep Nath (9).
Royals came up with a decent bowling performance but would think they were 20-25 runs short. Jaydev Undakat takes a wicket on the first ball. Punjab is third on 12 points. None of the batsmen, apart from Buttler, really helped the cause as RR crawled to 152 in their 20 overs at a loss of nine wickets. On the other hand, Punjab's batting this season mostly relies on the opening combination of Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul, who have consistently given great starts to their side. Two days back, they were chasing 153 and were in all sorts of trouble at 87/4.
Buttler's aggressive start has given Rajasthan Royals an ideal platform in a match where they must win to stay alive in the race for the play-offs. Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat mixed their pace well and used the yorker cleverly in the death overs to ensure a comfortable win for RR who climbed up to sixth in the points tally. In the 15th over, Sanju Samson was bowled by Manoj Tiwary for 22 runs.
None of the other batsmen could offer any resistance to the disciplined bowling effort from Punjab bowlers.
The 27-year-old continued to bat aggressively, whacking Mohit Sharma for three boundaries and creaming two boundaries off Andrew Tye. The Australian speedster bowled economically for the first three overs and grabbed and was rewarded in the final over as he grabbed three wickets in that over.
Samson- Perhaps the only guy who has been playing confidently for RR and getting the runs.
Rest of Punjab bowlers did well and prevented the hosts from scoring big.
Despite wickets falling at regular intervals, Rahul kept one end secured but lacked support from others.
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