Rajasthan Royals 126-4 (Rahane 34no) beat
Kings XI Punjab 124 by six wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Jaipur
Report by Chetan Narula
Rajasthan Royals put up a clinical show on their way to a six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur.
It was a close-run thing in the end, but Rajasthan never truly lost control and cemented their place at third place in the Indian Premier League points table, with six from four games.
At the other end of the table, Kings XI are now third from last, with just two points from three matches.
Chasing just 125 runs for victory, Rajasthan got there with four balls to spare, but it sure was a close-run thing. Shane Watson got them off to a terrific start, getting them past 40 without any loss in just four overs. He scored 32 runs off 19 balls, with seven fours.
Just when he looked to be going strong, Parvinder Awana (1-35) snapped him up. The 43-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane came to an end and thereafter Rahul Dravid (9) and Stuart Binny (0) were dismissed quickly too.
Brad Hodge (19) stayed at the crease long enough to stabilise things, but when he was dismissed in the 13th over, Rajasthan were 79 for four and still some distance away.
Rahane, though, played for time and guided the chase properly, scoring 34 not out off 42 balls, with three fours. Providing him a great helping hand was debutant Sanju Samson, who scored 27 runs off 23 balls, with three more fours and the two unbeaten batsmen saw the team through.
Praveen Kumar bowled an exceptional spell of two for 10 from his four overs but couldn't prevent his team's defeat.
Earlier, Rajasthan won the toss and elected to field first and a disciplined bowling effort saw them dismiss Kings XI for just 124 runs with seven balls unused.
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (2-20) was the pick of the bowlers, striking blows at the top of the order. Siddharth Trivedi (2-21), James Faulkner (2-30) and Kevon Cooper (2-33) also made full use of the greenish conditions as the pacers shared eight wickets between them.
For the Kings XI, only David Hussey put up any worthwhile resistance, scoring 41 runs off 31 balls with four fours and one six. Azhar Mahmood scored 23 off 20 balls and Praveen Kumar, at the tail end of the order, made 15 runs off seven balls. Otherwise, there was little support forthcoming as the batting failed to make any sort of impression.
© Cricket World 2013
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