Returning to their fortress after four years, Rajasthan Royals bowled with a lot of discipline to keep Lucknow Super Giants at 154 for seven in their Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.
On a pitch not conducive for strokeplay, Kyle Mayers top-scored with 51 before Marcus Stoinis (21 off 16 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (28 off 20) helped the team cross 150.
Trent Boult bowled brilliantly to finish with figures 1-16 in four overs, while Ravichandran Ashwin was also excellent with the ball, ending with 2/23 from his four.
Seasoned New Zealander Trent Boult bowled two brilliant overs to justify RR skipper Sanju Samson’s decision to field first after winning the toss.
As Boult, one of the world’s leading seamers for more than a decade, went about his task in his usual manner, KL Rahul looked clueless and the pressure created by the crafty bowler got to the struggling LSK captain.
Unable to free his arms, Rahul ended up playing a Sandeep Sharma delivery in the air but the young Yashasvi Jaiswal fluffed the chance. He was on six at the time. After he added another six runs to his total, Rahul got another chance when Jason Holder, who normally has a safe pair of hands, dropped a skyer after running backwards from mid-off.
This was seven balls after Jaiswal had a shy at the bowler’s end and missed a run out chance with Rahul well out of crease.
Those two missed chances miffed Samson no end but RR did not have to pay a heavy price as Rahul got out for an unconvincing 32-ball 39.
Having consumed that many deliveries, Rahul would have liked to carry his bat though the RR innings, but Holder had him with a nicely executed slower ball.
After conceding only two runs in the first two overs and 13 in his third, Boult, deservedly, got on the wicket column when he knocked over Ayush Badoni’s leg stump.
The missed chances notwithstanding, the RR bowlers were parsimonious and kept LSG to 37 for no loss in the six powerplay overs on a pitch that wasn’t the best for batting.
On and off, Mayers managed to find the boundaries, including going down the ground to hit Yuzvendra Chahal over long off for a maximum in the ninth over. Four balls later, Rahul got into the act by smoking the leg-spinner for a huge six over the deep mid wicket fence.
It was a productive over LSG as they accumulated 18 runs from it. Back into the attack, the wily Ashwin gave five runs in the next over, and Holder, four, in the next including picking the wicket of Rahul, to keep LSK in check.
Boult returned to dismiss Badoni while giving away just three runs. Mayers broke the shackles with two successive fours off Chahal, before falling to Ashwin.
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (wk/capt), Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (capt), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ayush Badoni, Naveen-ul-Haq, Avesh Khan, Yudhvir Singh Charak, Ravi Bishnoi.