By CricketCountry Staff
Jaipur: Apr 6, 2012
West Indian Kevon Cooper bagged four wickets as Rajasthan Royals registered a comfortable 31-run win over Kings XI Punjab in their IPL 2012 clash in Jaipur on Friday.
Chasing a massive score of 192, Punjab team could managed 160 for nine for to hand the hosts their first win in the tournament.
Openers got the team off to a blistering start as Adam Gilchrist smashed Siddharta Trivedi for two consecutive boundaries before hitting Johan Botha for two four and a six, in the fourth over.
Just when the Punjab skipper looked dangerous, Amit Singh had the left-hander caught by Kevon Cooper.
Cooper was involved again when the West Indian sent back danger man Paul Valthaty, Shaun Marsh and Abhishek Nayar in space of his two overs.
Mandeep Singh and David Hussey then got down to stabilising the Punjab innings until Trivedi had the latter caught at long-on to have the visitors reeling at 86 for five.
Once Hussey departed, Punjab wickets continued to tumble as defeat looked inevitable.
Cooper finished with figures of four for 26 in his four overs.
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane scored a blistering 98 off just 66 balls with the help of 16 boundaries and a lone six as he turned out to be the cynosure of all eyes.
Just when was set for the first century of IPL V, Rahane was bowled by James Faulkner (2/41) in the final over of the innings two runs short of the magical three-figure mark.
Put into bat, captain Rahul Dravid ()28 off 24) and Rahane gave a flying start to Rajasthan's innings, sharing 77 runs for the opening stand that came off just 57 balls.
After a quiet first over, Rahane broke the shackles with two consecutive boundaries off Faulkner in the next.
Rahane then clobbered Praveen Kumar for four fours to pick up 16 runs of the bowler's second over.
Dravid, on the other hand, played sensibly with ones and twos but hit boundaries when opportunities came his way.
After toiling hard for 9.3 overs, Kings XI finally managed to get the breakthrough when Dravid was dimissed by Harmeet Singh (1/23) caught by Faulkner at the cover boundary as he tried to slap one over the in-field.
Rahane soon brought up his fifty in style off just 37 balls, hitting Piyush Chawla (1/33) straight over his head in the 10th over.
The visitors, however, tasted another success in the same over when Ashok Maneria was castled by Chawla for a duck.
But the two quick dismissals had no effect on Rahane, who went about his business in style, and struck two boundaries and a six to pick up 16 runs from Paul Valthaty's only over.
Rahane was in ominous mood today as he played delightful strokes on all sides of the wicket and did not spare a single Kings XI bowler.
Chawla once again came under Rahane's fury when the right-hander smashed the leg-spinner for three consecutive fours in the 17th over.
Brad Hodge also played his part with a 16-ball 21-run knock before he was bowled by Faulkner.
Owais Shah (14* off 8) and West Indian Kevon Cooper (11* off 3) also played little cameos towards the end.
Brief Scores: RR 190 for 4 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 98, Rahul Dravid 28, Brad Hodge 21; James Faulkner 2 for 41) bt KXIP 160 for 9 in 20 overs (Mandeep Singh 34, Bipul Sharma 18; Kevon Cooper 4 for 26) by 31 runs
Man of the Match: Ajinkya Rahane