IPL 2013: Rajasthan Royals ease to 8-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab

Ajinkya Rahane guided Rajasthan Royals to victory after carrying his bat for a 49-ball 59 © IANS

By Jaideep Vaidya
 
Mohali: May 9, 2013

 
An unbeaten half-century from Ajinkya Rahane and a couple of other confident knocks from Sanju Samson (47 not out) and Shane Watson (31) ensured that the Rajasthan Royals comprehensively beat the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the PCA Stadium.

Doing so, the Royals skipped back to second place in the points table, while Punjab remain sixth.

Chasing 146 on this track was never going to be a tough ask for the Royals, but the manner in which they eased home would be a cause of concern for Punjab, who are nearing an exit.

After winning Punjab managed just 25 runs from the last four overs and it came back to bite them as Rajasthan cruised home with six balls to spare.
 
Punjab were off to a good start in their defence, as slow left-arm orthodox bowler Bipul Sharma, playing his first game today, bowled through the gates of the in-form Rajasthan captain Rahul Dravid in the very first over.
 
Rahane and Watson then consolidated the innings with a classy 64-run stand, each going about their innings in their typical manner — Watson the aggressor and Rahane the anchor. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla had to bowl a 117kmph nipper to castle Watson for 31.
 
In walked young Samson, who has impressed one and all this season with talent oozing from his 18-year-old self. The duo took a couple of overs to settle into the new partnership, before finishing off the chase in style.

One particular shot played by Samson just proved his class — Parvinder Awana bowled full and straight to the right-hander, who made some room and swiftly twirled the bat in his hand to guide the ball to third-man for four. An error of judgement of even a few millimetres would have knocked over his middle stump, which said much about his confidence.

In the first innings, Shaun Marsh (77 not out) and Adam Gilchrist (42) shared a century partnership at the top of the order before the Royals fought back to restrict KXIP to 145 for six.

Kevon Cooper was the star for the visitors, whose slower deliveries got him three wickets.
 
Earlier, spinner Ajit Chandila, who opened the bowling for Rajasthan, got a wicket in the first over itself as Mandeep Singh provided him a simple return catch. Chandila almost sent Gilchrist packing in his next over, although it wouldn’t have fetched them a lot of points in the Fairplay table.
 
Marsh tapped Chandila towards mid-on and the two batsmen contemplated a single before good sense prevailed. As Gilchrist walked back to his crease at the non-striker’s end, the throw from James Faulkner came straight towards his ribs. As Gilly took reflexive measures to prevent the ball from hitting him, Chandila picked up the ball, whipped off the bails and vociferously appealed to the umpire with Gilchrist short of his crease.
 
Gilchrist wasn’t amused and even showed his bat to Chandila while letting him know exactly how he felt about it. Eventually, it took the saintly Royals skipper, Rahul Dravid, to intervene and withdraw the appeal, before apologising to Gilchrist.
 
With that settled, Gilchrist and Marsh went on to forge a formidable partnership — Punjab’s best in the top order for a long time. The KXIP skipper, back in the team after being dropped for three games, had said at the toss that the team had left David Miller “too much to do in the last few games”.

Gilly and Marsh did their best to ensure the pressure was taken off Miller, piling up a 102-run partnership before the former gave a return catch to Kevon Cooper. David Hussey (1) did not last long, which brought Miller to the crease with more than five overs to go.

However, Marsh took most of the strike and temporarily ressurected the innings before allowing Cooper to shatter his woodwork to make it 136 for four. Miller, to the Punjab crowd’s surprise, did not rescue his team for a change as he gave Cooper his third wicket in the same over.

Rajasthan leaked just 10 runs in the last two overs and picked up three wickets, as KXIP were left to rue what could have been.

Brief scores:
 
Kings XI Punjab 145 for 6 in 20 overs (Shaun Marsh 77, Adam Gilchrist 42; Kevon Cooper 3 for 23) lost to Rajasthan Royals 147 for 2 in 19 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 59*, Sanju Samson 47*; Bipul Sharma 1 for 21, Piyush Chawla 2 for 27) by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match: Kevon Cooper
 
Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery