Kings XI Guarantee Top Spot
Kings XI Punjab 179-4 (Marsh 40) beat
Rajasthan Royals 163-8 by 16 runs
Indian Premier League 2014, Mohali
The Kings XI Punjab guaranteed themselves a finishing position at the top of the Indian Premier League 2014 table by beating the Rajasthan Royals by 16 runs in Mohali.
While they can begin to look forward to two chances to reach the final, the Rajasthan Royals must beat the Mumbai Indians in their final group game to reach the play-offs.
Punjab could even afford the luxury of resting Glenn Maxwell and were hardly inconvenienced by his absence as they posted 179 for four batting first.
The Royals then collapsed to 86 for five and were only relatively close at the end thanks to some lusty blows from James Faulkner, who finished unbeaten on 35 in just 13 balls.
Akshar Patel (3-24), Karanveer Singh (2-16) and Rishi Dhawan (2-25) all excelled with the ball as Rajasthan closed on 163 for eight.
After Rajasthan won the toss and chose to field, swift runs came early on from Virender Sehwag (18) and Manan Vohra (25) before Shaun Marsh made 40 in 35 balsl at number three.
Wriddhiman Saha made 27, David Miller 29 not out and George Bailey 26 not out in 18 balls as Punjab put a decent score on the board.
Vikramjeet Malik, Faulkner and Rahul Tewatia took a wicket apiece.
As well as no Maxwell in the side, Punjab were also without Mitchell Johnson but Patel, Karanveer and Dhawan served them well enough.
Dhawan bowled Ajinkya Rahane (23) and Shane Watson (0) in consecutive deliveries while Patel removed Tewatia (16), Brad Hodge (31) and Kevon Cooper (2).
Hodge had struck his runs from just 18 balls but along with Faulkner he had come in far too late to make the difference.
Karanveer, meanwhile, had Sanju Samson stumped for 30 and Stuart Binny brilliantly caught by Marsh in the deep for seven to add his name to the list of young bowlers to have played starring roles for the Kings XI in this season's competition.
Bearan Hendricks was expensive for Punjab, bearing the brunt of the late attack by Hodge and Faulkner, but otherwise there was little to complain about for the home side.
© Cricket World 2014