Lucknow skipper Lokesh Rahul used eight bowlers, but still, Rajasthan managed to put up a formidable total.

Rajasthan Royals’ pace trio proved too much for Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday, giving their team a 24-run win as the race intensified for a place in the Indian Premier League playoffs.

IPL newcomer Gujarat Titans earlier confirmed its spot in Qualifier 1 with a seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings.

Rajasthan chose to bat and made 178-6 despite losing Jos Buttler for only 2 in the third over of the batting powerplay.

Pacers Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy shared six wickets to restrict Lucknow to 154-8. Yuzvendra Chahal, the tournament’s top wicket-taker, had Deepak Hooda stumped for 59 off 39 balls as the leg-spinner took his tally to 24 wickets in 13 games.

The win lifted Rajasthan to No. 2 — behind leader Gujarat — with 16 points. Lucknow, which also has 16 points, slipped to No. 3 on a lesser run-rate than Rajasthan.

Lucknow skipper Lokesh Rahul used eight bowlers, but still, Rajasthan managed to put up a formidable total.

Opening batter Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scored for his team with 41 after Buttler lost his off stump while going for a ramp shot against fast bowler Avesh Khan.

Devdutt Padikkal (39) and skipper Sanju Samson (32) made contributions in the middle overs before Boult (17 not out), and Ravichandran Ashwin (10 not out) added valuable runs in the last two overs.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2-31) picked up the wickets of Padikkal and Riyan Parag.

Captain Rahul admitted that his side is under pressure after losing the game against RR.

“I won’t lie; yes, there is a bit of pressure. We know nothing comes easy in the IPL, and we have learn that the hard way. We could have easily qualified and played the last game with a free mindset,” said KL Rahul.

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