Rajasthan Royals post scrappy 6-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab

Shane Watson hit 32 at the top of the order to get Rajasthan Royals going © AFP (File Photo)

Jaipur: Apr 14, 2013
 
Rajasthan Royals left it late, perhaps a little too late for everyone’s liking, as they chased down Kings XI Punjab’s total of 124 in 19.2 overs in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Doing so, Rajasthan moved up to third in the points table, behind Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
 
The home crowd at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, which had been buzzing as the Royals skittled out Punjab for a low total in the first innings, could hardly be heard during the chase.
 
Shane Watson came back to open the Royals’ batting after missing two games. The Australian all-rounder, who has temporarily switched off his bowling trade, justified his selection over Kusal Perera as he got Rajasthan off to a flier.
 
Ajinkya Rahane at the other end barely got the strike in the first five overs as Watson raced his way into the thirties. Watson displayed a wide array of strokes all around the park, with his front-foot cover drive standing out. Parvinder Awana got the much-needed breakthrough for Punjab in the fifth over as Watson tried to swat him over mid on, but could only find Mandeep Singh.
 
Praveen Kumar then just about managed to get Punjab to force a leg through the door as he picked up the wickets of Rahul Dravid (9) and Stuart Binny (0) in one over. Rajasthan were 58 for three in eight overs at this stage.
 
Brad Hodge came along and hit a couple of cracking boundaries before falling for 15 to make it 79 for four in 13. Rahane, watching the wickets fall around him, had scored just 14 off 27 deliveries. The right-hander then took over as wicketkeeper Sanju Samson came in to join him. Rajasthan meandered along and kept the asking rate hovering around six.
 
With 17 to win from the last three overs, the Royals finally let loose as Awana went for 11. Eventually, the home side got home with four balls to spare and picked up two points, but could have done their net run-rate a favour by scoring quicker. Rahul Dravid’s team would only hope that it does not come to bite them later.
 
Rajasthan Royals restricted the Kings XI Punjab to 124 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium here.
 
The hapless Punjab batting never really managed to get going as they were wobbling at 10 for three in the fourth over. Controversial bowler S Sreesanth, who reignited the ‘Slapgate’ saga prior to the game, was focused as ever on the job at hand as he picked up the wickets of Punjab openers Adam Gilchrist and Mandeep Singh in his first over itself.

Manan Vohra was then run out by David Hussey after the latter set off on a single that never was. James Faulkner picked up the ball that was hit towards cover and threw it direct on the stumps to catch Vohra miles short.

Gurkeerat Singh stuck around with Hussey for around five overs as the duo put on 35 runs before the former edged to wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.

Hussey persisted and shared a 20-odd run partnership with Rajagopal Sathish before the latter was dismissed via a brilliant catch from Samson behind the sticks. Hussey himself was to depart for 41 soon after as Punjab were reduced to 75 for six in the 13th over.

There was no coming back from then for the visitors. Azhar Mahmood (23 off 20 balls) and Praveen Kumar (15 off seven balls) provided a late mini-counterattack in the death overs, but it was too little too late.

Kevon Cooper (two for 33) skittled out the lower order along with James Faulkner (two for 30) as Punjab were reduced to 124 all-out. Cooper also picked up the Purple Cap in the process.

Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 124 all-out in 18.5 overs (David Hussey 41; S Sreesanth 2 for 20, Kevon Cooper 2 for 33, Siddharth Trivedi 2 for 21) lost to Rajasthan Royals 126 for 4 in 19.2 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 34*, Shane Watson 32; Praveen Kumar 2 for 10) by 6 wickets.

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