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IPL 2018: Match 38, KXIP vs RR – Rating of the Match

Though Royals tried their best, Mujeeb and Rahul proved too good for them.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Kings XI Punjab’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman celebrates fall of Jofra Archer’s wicket. (Photo by IANS)

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were fortunate to have KL Rahul until the end who took care of winning the game for them. It got very close in the end but the man from Karnataka stood up for Punjab and he did wonders for his team. They have now climbed to the third position in the points table trumping KKR who lost the game against Mumbai earlier in the day. However, Mujeeb Zadran was the hero of the day who bowled beautifully and took the wickets of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler.

Sensational Mujeeb spins the web (3/27)

What a find this 17-year-old is! Kings XI has played him literally every game and he has stood up tall to all the challenges so far even bowling the last over against Delhi Daredevils. When Mujeeb Zadran won that game for his team, it was proved that he had nerves of steel and he doesn’t get overawed with the situation. He has continued to grow in stature with every game and Mujeeb’s spell once again worked wonders for his team.

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Mujeeb bowled a couple of overs in the powerplay to negate the threat of Jos Butter but the opposition played him out cleverly not going for runs against him. But he is a champion bowler and was not going to go down wicketless in this game. He was introduced for his second spell in the 13th over by his skipper R Ashwin and he soon scalped Ben Stokes who was hitting it nicely today. Though more credit of the wicket has to go to Mayank Agarwal who showed his presence of mind near the boundary lines and handed over his catch to Manoj Tiwary.

However, his next over was game-changing. The dangerous Buttler was dismissed off the very first delivery as he edged the darted one outside off in an attempt to run it down to the third man. It was a huge scalp in the context of the game as Buttler was set and could’ve taken the game away from them. Soon, he castled Jofra Archer with a beauty of a delivery which pitched on off and turned back on sharply as the batsman could only stand in disbelief. it was a sensational spell and he returned with the magical figures of 3/27.

Rahul’s masterclass (84* off 54)

KL Rahul was guilty of not playing a big innings of late which was hurting Punjab in the long run. But he had decided today it seems to see his team through in a tough chase of 153 runs. He opened the innings along with Chris Gayle and saw the wickets tumbling at the other end. The required run-rate was increasing constantly but he stayed calm only to go bonkers in the death overs and attacked the best in the business Jofra Archer to end the hopes of Royals to win the game.

He remained unbeaten on 84 runs off just 54 deliveries with 7 fours and 3 sixes as all his shots were absolutely sublime. But the six which he smashed to Archer in the 17th over sealed the fate of the game as it shattered the confidence of the youngster. It clocked around 145 kph and was bowled short by the bowler as Rahul stayed back and played an upper cut over the third man to send it deep into the stands. The shot was unbelievable which flustered the mind of the bowler who kept on erring in length.

The match-winning knock must have given him so much confidence now and it is very much possible that he might continue to play the same way going forward in the tournament.

Here’s CricTracker’s Rating of the Match

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