T20 2018: Mumbai not out in Indore!

Hardik Pandya

Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel and Marcus Stoinis have made their way back into the side for KXIP as the team plays the first game on their adopted home i.e. Holkar Stadium in Indore.

The intense performer that he is, Ajinkya Rahane must be hurting at Rajasthan Royals' inability to execute plans in Indian Premier League 2018.

Punjab's chase, however, started on a bad note as they lost unsafe Chris Gayle (8) and Mayank Agarwal (2) in successive overs. Buttler hit a boundary after that. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been the standout performer for them this season and has played every game this season.

"If you get off to a good start, even if you get the run-rate down a bit in the middle overs, if you are set till the end you can do the most damage".

Rahul brought up his fifty in the 17th over with an upper cut six off Jofra Archer to bring down the equation to 27 runs off 18 balls. The star English all-rounder has failed to perform entirely and just managed to compile 148 runs from eight innings and collected only a single wicket. Mujeeb (3/27) struck in the first two deliveries of the 15th over, first removing dangerous-looking Jos Buttler and then Jofra Archer to stand in with a chance of registering a hattrick. And he justified that with a half-century. Rajasthan's batting too has not been that great though in the previous match Jos Buttler and D'Arcy Short returned to some great form. He built his innings according to the match situation, and held one end.

Immediately, Yuvraj found himself in a bit of trouble, failing to get his timing right. With 594 runs against KKR over the years he is far and away the most prolific batsman in this fixture.

Gayle and Lokesh Rahul (24 off 20) gave KXIP another cracking start as the destructive duo shared a 54-run stand off 40 balls. Samson's catch seemed legit from front-on camera angles, but the side angle indicated the ball might have kissed the turf before falling into his hands.

And Ben Stokes' (12) frustrating tournament continued when his momentum was halted, with Mayank Agarwal catching just before the rope and successfully offloading to Manoj Tiwary as he fell backwards. Stoinis has bowled mostly length this tournament and has a habit of overpitching and delivering full tosses, just what the batsmen wanted on a slow pitch.

With all their recognised batsmen back in the hut, Royals could not get a big finish. The tailenders could only take them past 150.

Sairaj Bahutule and Marcus Stoinis lauded KL Rahul's game-changing knock under pressure against Rajasthan Royals.