Kings XI Punjab opener Lokesh Rahul said he was really satisfied with his match-winning performance against Rajasthan Royals. Rahul smashed a classy unbeaten half-century after young off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman's exploits with the ball to guide Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable six wicket win over laggards Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League 2018 match in Indore on Sunday. "For me personally I think this is the first knock I am really satisfied with because I won the game for the team and stayed till the end," Rahul said after the match. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)
Chasing a modest 153 run target, Rahul anchored Kings XI's innings from start to finish, scoring 84 off just 54 balls with the help of seven boundaries and three sixes to guide his side home with eight balls to spare. (IPL 2018 Points Table)
"I have been hitting the ball really well so can't complain about that. I always try to back my cricketing shots and don't try to slog much. Playing in this way is what will make me consistent. I trust myself and trust my instincts to finish the game," Rahul added. (KXIP vs RR MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)
Kings XI's chase, however, started on a bad note as they lost dangerous Chris Gayle (8) and Mayank Agarwal (2) in successive overs.
While Gayle cut Jofra Archer straight to Sanju Samson at point in the fourth over, Agarwal pulled a short delivery from Ben Stokes to Rahul Tripathi at long leg.
Then Rahul and Karun Nair (31) shared a 50-run stand for the third wicket off just 37 balls to stabilise Kings XI's chase before the latter dragged Anureet Singh's short delivery back onto his stumps as Kings XI were reduced to 79 for three.
Axar Patel (4) too didn't last long as he lofted Ksishnappa Gowtham straight to D'Arcy Shot at deep midwicket. But Rahul went about his business calmly and guided Kings XI's chase by holding on to the fort from one side.
Rahul mixed caution with aggression and didn't went for any extravagant shots. He punished the bad deliveries that came his way.
Rahul brought up his fifty in the 17th over with an upper cut six off Archer to bring down the equation to 27 runs off 18 balls.
Rahul and Marcus Stoinis (23 not out) shared unconquered 68 runs for the fifth wicket to comfortably take Kings XI past the winning margin and enable their side climb up to the third spot in the points table.
"I knew if I stay till the end I'll finish the game today. Karun played well and supported me. Stoinis played well and ran well too. I got lucky and that's what happens in this format," Rahul said.