Kings XI Continue Good Run With Crushing Win

Kings XI Continue Good Run With Crushing Win
Kings XI Continue Good Run With Crushing Win
©REUTERS/Mick Tsikas (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Kings XI Punjab 195-7 (Marsh 71) beat
Rajasthan Royals 147-7 (Bhatt 2-20) by 48 runs
Indian Premier League 2011, Mohali

Kings XI Punjab beat Rajasthan Royals by 48 runs at Mohali, winning their third consecutive game and doing much good to their standing in the league.

Alternately it was Rajasthan’s third straight loss and having already played six games, they seem to be in some trouble.

After winning the toss and electing to field, Rajasthan were left chasing a mammoth 196 runs. It all depended on the start and if their big hitters would get the necessary platform from openers Rahul Dravid and Swapnil Asnodkar. Both were returning to the playing eleven, but while it was only a one match gap for Dravid, his younger colleague was getting a game after considerable time.

They disappointed though and were back in the hut by the third over, the scorecard reading 18 for two. It all rested in the hands of Shane Watson and Ross Taylor from here on and even so, they needed to really get going to make a match of it.

Watson began in a hurry but then departed equally hurriedly. He scored four boundaries in his stay of 16 balls, scoring 24 runs in all, before Praveen Kumar snapped him for his second wicket. The biggest blow however came in the eighth over when Taylor was trapped LBW by Piyush Chawla for a five-ball duck.

The match was as good as over at 49 for four but Stuart Binny, Abhishek Raut and Ashok Menaria provided a semblance of a fight. Menaria led the way with 34 runs while Binny and Raut contributed 30 and 25 respectively. In the end, the huge chase proved too much for their young shoulders.

Earlier, Kings XI got off to a sensational start bringing up the first 50 runs in only three overs. It was partly down to some poor bowling from Rajasthan whose opening bowlers, Siddharth Trivedi and Shaun Tait were lacking in discipline. They got both Adam Gilchrist and Paul Valthaty out off no balls and the duo then made them pay for these mistakes. Gilchrist made 28 runs off 16 balls with four fours and one six, but the real damage was done by in-form Valthaty who played another eye-catching innings.

He made 46 runs off 31 balls, including four fours and three sixes, that helped propel the Kings’ score at the very start of the innings. He took apart Trivedi’s second over for 25 runs and the run-rate never came down after that. They put up 67 runs for the first wicket in only 4.2 overs before Gilchrist was out caught by Tait off the bowling of Shane Watson.

The double bowling change worked for Rajasthan as Warne had Valthaty caught as the score read 105 for two in the tenth over. With half the innings left, the Punjab side could have still lost their way but for Shaun Marsh.

The Aussie left-hander finished what his preceding batsmen left incomplete as he mauled the Rajasthan bowling all over the park. He scored 71 runs off 42 balls with six fours and three sixes, all of them coming off Shane Warne in his last over.

Dinesh Karthik hung around a bit making 21 runs but the lower order lost fizz after Marsh’s dismissal in the 19th over, just falling short of the 200-run mark.

Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011