Rajasthan Royals lived to fight another day with a 15-run win over Kings XI Punjab as KL Rahul's unbeaten 95, coming amidst a surprise batting meltdown, went in vain in the Indian Premier League at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Buttler led the way with a 82-run knock before Kings XI Punjab bowlers fought back. 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.
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.
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. Buttler hit his fourth IPL fifty and went on to score 86 runs in a fine innings, taking Rajasthan Royals to a total of 158/8 in 20 overs.
RR reduced Kings to 19 for three in the fourth over and the visitors struggled to recover from the horrendous start, as they soon found themselves stuttering at 45 for four and then 66 for five, with eight overs left.
For Kings XI Punjab, Rahul played the lone ranger with 95 off 70 balls, his fourth half-century of the ongoing league. KXIP needed 32 runs in the last over and Rahul's six and two fours were not enough.
The home team, however, staged a strong fightback with the ball as it restricted Kings XI Punjab to 143 for seven in the stipulated 20 overs. Languishing at the bottom of the table prior to this game, RR have now moved to sixth place, while KXIP remained in third position.