IPL 2018: Stoinis all praise for K.L. Rahul following win against RR

The victory also put R. Ashwin’s men in the third place, further brightening up the playoffs chances.

K.L. Rahul struck an unbeaten 84 off just 54 balls to help KXIP beat Rajasthan Royals by six wickets.   -  AFP

The target wasn’t stiff, the boundaries were relatively small, yet those runs still needed to be scored. With Chris Gayle gone early and the middle order not exactly in great knick, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) needed K.L. Rahul to take it home against Rajasthan Royals at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, here, on Sunday night.

He did that, in considerable style. The opener struck an unbeaten 84 off just 54 balls to help the host beat Rajasthan Royals by six wickets. The victory also put R. Ashwin’s men in the third place, further brightening up the playoffs chances.

His teammate Marcus Stoinis, who watched him from the non-striker’s end as they added 68 for the unfinished fifth wicket, believes it is Rahul’s best knock of the IPL.

“I don’t know what you guys think, but I think it was his best innings. That’s what the best players do — they win the games and that is what he’s done. He understood the situation, he understood the wicket and he batted accordingly,” the Australian all-rounder said, shortly, after the match.

READ: K.L. Rahul: ‘Satisfied with my knock against Rajasthan’

About sending Axar Patel ahead of Manoj Tiwary – a move that didn’t work – he said: “Axar has been one of our best players in the last three years. He had bowled well in this game and he enjoys the pressure. So, the plan was to give him a chance under the circumstances.”

Rajasthan Royals’ bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule said that his batsmen needed to build partnerships. “When we don’t have at least one big partnership, it becomes difficult. We were probably 20 runs short of a good total,” he said.

He complimented Rahul on his innings but felt that his bowlers gave away too many runs in the 17th and 18th overs. “Unfortunately, Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat, who had bowled their three previous overs very well, gave KXIP those big overs. If we could take the wicket of Rahul, earlier, we would have been in a position to win,” Bahutule said.