Rajasthan Royals lose to Kings XI Punjab; race for final IPL 2014 playoffs spot still on
Kings XI Punjab had a lot to celebrate in their game against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 7 © IANS (File Photo)
By Bharath Ramaraj
May 23, 2014
Rajasthan Royals‘ batsmen never got going, while chasing down a target of 180 runs against Kings XI Punjab in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. They finally ended up with 163 runs for the loss of eight wickets on the board. Sanju Samson compiled a knock of 30 runs for Rajasthan, but even he struggled for timing and placement.
For Punjab, Rishi Dhawan took two wickets in two balls and that too of key players in the opposition ranks; Shane Watson and Ajinkya Rahane. It was interesting to see that Brad Hodge, the experienced campaigner came to bat so late down the order. He did play well and made 31, but he had too much to do. It has to be remembered that Rajasthan needed to win this game to qualify for playoffs. They are still in the reckoning to qualify for playoffs though.
When Punjab were batting, despite losing wickets at regular intervals batsmen played with fearless courage during the early part of their innings in IPL 2014. Rajasthan bowlers did make a fine comeback in the middle overs, but George Bailey and David Miller with their pyrotechnics in the end overs helped them to a score of 179 runs for the loss of four wickets on the board.
It was Virender Sehwag, who gave them a flying start by smashing Vikramjeet Malik’s medium pace bowling all over the park. He finally got out to the all-rounder James Faulkner‘s bowling caught by Malik. Manan Vohra took over from him by playing sparkling shots himself. The way he stood tall at the crease to smash Shane Watson with a flick shot between wide long on and deep mid-wicket region just gave a glimpse of his talent. He though was run out just when it seemed like he was about to get a big score. He was run out with him not even grounding the bat.
It was then Shaun Marsh, the left-handed batsman who showed his ability to time and place the ball into gaps. The way he stepped out of the crease to cleanly strike Rahul Tewatia for a six was perhaps shot of the day. Unfortunately for him, he lost his wicket to Vikramjit’s Malik for a well made innings of 40 off 35 balls. To make it worse for him, as soon as he got out play was stopped due to rain. Once Marsh got out, David Miller the left-handed batsman known for playing eye-catching shots came into bat. For Rajasthan, their bowlers generally bowled with decent control. James Faulkner, the all-rounder though came in for some severe punishment.
Earlier, Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bowl in their crucial game against table toppers, Punjab in IPL 2014. Sehwag and Vohra opened the batting for Punjab. It was Malik who opened the bowling for Rajasthan. Sehwag though, showed his class by clouting Malik through the off-side for a boundary.
Sehwag continued on his merry way by clouting again through backward point for a boundary. He ended the over with another six off Malik’s bowling. A fine start by Punjab for sure. Skipper Shane Watson bowled the second over of the game. Manan Vohra joined the fun by smashing a boundary as well, off Watson’s bowling.
It made Watson think, and he bowled a fine bouncer to keep the batsmen at bay. He also took a heavy toll on James Faulkner’s bowling by smashing him for a boundary. But Faulkner came back to take Sehwag’s wicket, caught by Malik.
Kings XI Punjab 179 for 4 in 20 overs (Shaun Marsh 40, David Miller 29*; Rahul Tewatia 1 for 24) beat Rajasthan Royals 163 for 8 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 30, Brad Hodge 31; Akshar Patel 3 for 24, Karanveer Singh 2 for 16) by 16 runs.
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(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)