Rajasthan Royals to carry winning momentum in next game: Kulkarni

Vastavam web: Having secured a hat-trick of wins, Rajasthan Royals will look to carry the winning momentum against Kolkata Knight Riders in their next IPL fixture and inch closer to a play-off berth, said RR seamer Dhawal Kulkarni.Rajasthan kept alive their play-off hopes by beating defending champions Mumbai Indians by seven wickets with two overs to spare last night.

The Ajinkya Rahane-led side will face two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders tomorrow at Edens Gardens.Rajasthan Royals climbed up to the fifth spot with 12 points in as many games following their third victory on the trot achieved riding on opener Jos Buttler’s blistering unbeaten knock of 94 in 53 balls his second successive, unconquered 90-plus score in the competition.

On the move to promote Buttler to the top of the order, Kulkarni said: I think it was a collective decision of the captain, (head of cricket) Zubin (Bharucha), (mentor) Shane (Warne) and (batting coach) Amol (Muzumdar). So he’s doing well for us and I hope he continues to be in that form for us.I feel a bowler who’s bowling at 145 (kmph), it’s very difficult for a batsman to face that – especially with the way he bowls, the high arm action that he’s got. Wankhede’s wicket has got good bounce and good carry. He’s been bowling consistently well. But today it was special,” he said.

“The wicket assisted him really well. The way he was getting that bounce! I just wished that he got a hat-trick. MI’s Australian all rounder Ben Cutting felt the hosts were 20 runs short of a winning total.To be honest I’m probably the wrong person to ask – I faced four balls and I didn’t bowl. From what I saw, it is always a little difficult with little bit of dew coming in batting second. It’s tough. I’m not sure. We were pretty close to our plans tonight. Missed a few balls with execution here and there, but that happens in Twenty20 cricket. He’s in red hot form and he’s scored, what, 500 runs? His confidence is high and he’s striking the ball well. He played very well, said Cutting.

He also recalled the last-over losses in the opening few games that has come back to hurt Mumbai.