Sat, 05 May 2012 22:29:06 GMT

Rajasthan post convincing win over Punjab

Rajasthan Royals registered a comprehensive 40-run over the Kings XI Punjab at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

RR restricted to 177 for 6

Chasing a challenging target of 178 runs, the hosts were off to a poor start losing the in-form batsman, Mandeep Singh for 7 runs in the second over. Shane Watson was the bowler who drew first blood for Rajasthan. When wicket-keeper Saini and skipper David Hussey departed cheaply in the space of two overs, Punjab slumped to 55-3 in 7.3 overs with the asking-rate spiralling out of control. But the biggest blow was yet to arrive -- Punjab lost Shaun Marsh just four runs after Hussey's wicket and that wicket sealed the fate of the game. Azhar Mahmood and debutant Gurkeerat Singh put on a 36-run stand but the chase reached a dead-end once KXIP needed an impossible 62 runs from the last three overs.

Mohali: Rajasthan Royals threatened to run away with a big score with a solid batting display at the top before Kings XI Punjab clawed their way back to restrict the visitors to 177 for six in their Indian Premier League match here today.

Electing to bat, all the Rajasthan top-order batsmen, except for Ajinkya Rahane (5), were among runs as the visitors were 94 for two at the halfway mark only to fritter away the chance for a big score towards the end.

Captain Rahul Dravid top-scored with 46 while Shane Watson (36 off 17 balls), Ashok Menaria (34 off 27 balls) and Brad Hodge (36 off 23 balls) chipped in with some strokeful knocks on a PCA Stadium pitch on which ball came nicely onto the bat.

For KXIP, Australian pacer Ryan Harris scalped four wickets for 34 runs while leg-spinner Piyush Chawla took two wickets for 38. All the KXIP bowlers went for runs but they came back strongly in the second part of the innings.

Watson was the most aggressive of the Rajasthan batsman as he hit four fours and two sixes while Dravid, who hit eight four in his 39-ball innings, held one end initially before he was out in the 14th over.

After Watson was out in the eighth over, Maneria carried on the tempo with some lusty hits. He was though lucky as he was dropped near the boundary by Mandeep Singh. He was eventually out off the bowling of Chawla in the 16th over.

Hodge then took the score past 175 with some big hits, including a six each off Harris and Azhar Mahmood. Harris, however, had the last laugh as he claimed Hodge's wicket in the final over.

Source: PTI


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