Mohali: Rajasthan Royals almost assured themselves of a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after they defeated Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium on Thursday.
Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Pune Warriors India by 46 runs in their IPL 6 match at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune.
Chasing a target of 146, Ajinkya Rahane struck a fine unbeaten 59, his second consecutive half-century, and the young Sanju Samson remained not out on 47 to guide Rajasthan Royals to 147 for two with an over to spare.
Put in, a 102-run partnership between skipper Adam Gilchrist (42) and his compatriot Shaun Marsh (77) set the foundation of a big total for Kings XI. But they suffered a batting collapse losing five wickets for 41 runs and managed 145 for six in 20 overs.
Pacer Kevon Cooper did most of the damage in the death overs with his three for 23 and was also adjudged Man of the Match.
With the loss, Kings XI’s play-off chances are almost bleak while Rajasthan Royals jumped to the second place with 18 points from 13 matches. Kings XI Punjab have 10 points from 12 matches.
While chasing, Rajasthan lost skipper Rahul Dravid (4) early in the second over to left spinner Bipul Sharma (1/21), who sent one through bat and pad to rattle the stumps.
Kings XI needed some quick wickets, to make the most of Dravid’s early dismissal. But Rahane and Shane Watson (31) then forged a 66-run stand for the second wicket to take the match away from them.
Watson struck three fours and a six during his 25-ball innings that came to an end in the 10th over after he was castled by leggie Piyush Chawla.
With another 73 runs needed to win from 10 overs, Rahane and the 18-year-old Samson went about scoring runs in business-like fashion.
Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders romped home to their first away win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) beating the Pune Warriors by 46 runs at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Thursday.
The Warriors succumbed to their eighth consecutive defeat after failing to achieve a target of 153, getting bowled out for 106 in 19.3 overs. Apart from opener Robin Uthappa (31) and Sri Lankan Angelo Mathews (40), all other Pune batsmen failed to even reach double figures.
Right arm pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji took 3/19, including a brilliant caught-and-bowled off the last ball of the match to take Parvez Rasool’s wicket. Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla, South African Jacques Kallis and mystery spinner Sunil Narine took two wickets each while Rajat Bhatia picked up one.
The Warriors’ batting line-up completely flopped resulting in another disappointing 11th loss of the season which keeps them at the bottom of the points table.
Earlier, the visitors scored 152/6 with skipper Gautam Gambhir scoring the highest with 50 runs which included six boundaries. Coming into the match after a loss to the Mumbai Indians Tuesday, the Knights came back into the tournament with an authoritative win.
Kolkata were looking like they would end up with a score of around 130-odd runs but some big-hitting in the death overs propelled them to a 150-par score.
Indo-Asian News Service