By BV Swagath
Rajasthan Royals cruised to an easy 8-wicket win over hosts Kings XI Punjab to sit in the second position behind the Chennai Super Kings. The Rajasthan Royals now have 9 wins in 13 matches while their opponents this evening – the Kings XI Punjab are in the bottom half with 7 defeats in 12 games.
Kings XI looked to be heading towards a big total with Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh putting on 102 runs for the 2nd wicket in 13 overs. Gilchrist scored his best of IPL 6 – a knock of 42 from 32 balls. Marsh went onto score 77 from 64 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes but somewhere lost his momentum and so did the Kings XI Punjab.
It was a modest finish of 145 for 6 from the homeside with only Gilchrist and Marsh getting amongst the runs. Shane Watson bowled outstandingly well for Rajasthan with mean figures of 4-0-19-1. Kevon Cooper picked up 3 for 23 in his 4 overs.
Rajasthan were nicely set up in the run chase by a 66-run stand for the 2nd wicket between Rahane and Watson with the latter getting bowled by Chawla in the 10th over for a 25-ball 31. Rahane stayed till the end of the run chase steering his side home with an unbeaten 59 from 49 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes. He was well supported by Sanju Samson who scored a sweet knock of 47* from 33 balls with 5 fours and a six. Kevon Cooper collected the Man of the Match ahead of Rahane.
Toss and Teams: Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and asked hosts Kings Punjab to bat first at Mohali. Adam Gilchrist has returned back to take over the captaincy of Kings XI taking the place of Michael Neser.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (C&WK), Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, David Miller, Bipul Sharma, Rajagopal Sathish, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Parvinder Awana
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Sanju Samson, Dishant Yagnik (WK), Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Siddharth Trivedi, Ajit Chandila, S Sreesanth