Millennium Post

Buttler's 82 helps RR reach 158

Jaipur: Jos Buttler led the way with a blazing 58-ball 82 before Kings XI Punjab bowlers fought back and restricted Rajasthan Royals to 158 for eight in the Indian Premier League here on Tuesday.
The hosts, who are struggling at the bottom of the table with only three wins from nine outings, opted to bat after winning the toss at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Pacer Andre Tye was the most successful KXIP bowler, returning figures of 4/34, while mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman picked up 2/21 in four overs.
Opening the innings, Buttler began Royals' innings in earnest, hitting Marcus Stoinis for two successive boundaries in the first over.
The Englishman looked in rampaging form as he smashed Axar Patel for a six over over extra cover before going inside out to collect a boundary.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed by Tye, who fooled the batsman with a knuckle ball, inducing an edge to extra cover. But Buttler continued his onslaught on the Rajasthan bowlers as he picked two consecutive boundaries off Tye.
Krishnappa Gowtham, too, fell quickly as he was sent back by Stoinis in the seventh over.
A half century partnership then ensued between Buttler and the talented Sanju Samson (22) but the run rate dropped as the Royals batsmen, including the Englishman, struggled to find the boundaries.
After the brisk start, there was a period in the middle overs when Rajasthan Royals failed to hit a boundary for 25 balls. Buttler finally managed a boundary off Mujeeb Ur Rahman and then got a four off the bowling of Axar, thanks to poor fielding by Tye.
But that was it as RR again went without a boundary for 14 deliveries before Samson produced a flat-batted six off Ravichandran Ashiwn, sending the ball over long-off.
Samson brought up the fifty partnership by playing Ashwin for another boundary, but Mujeeb struck for Kings XI Punjab when he had the batsman who struggled to play freely during his 18-ball stay in the middle.
Finally, Buttler's innings came to an end when Mujeeb had him stumped with Royals' score reading 132 for four in the 17th over. He stuck nine fours and a six.
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