Punjab secure top spot

2014-05-23 21:25
David Miller (SuperSport)
Mohali - Akshar Patel claimed three wickets and received good support from the other bowlers as Kings XI Punjab ensured they will end the regular Indian Premier League (IPL) season top of the table after a 16-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Mohali on Friday.

The slow left-armer bagged three for 24 in his four overs, while Karanveer Singh (2-16) and Rishi Dhawan (2-25) collected two wickets apiece as the visitors were restricted to 163 for eight in pursuit of 180.

That was after Shaun Marsh earlier top-scored with 40 off 35 balls allowing the hosts reached 179 for four at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.

The Australian was one of many batsmen to get starts, with countryman George Bailey (26 off 18) and Proteas star David Miller (29 off 20) ending the innings with a flourish thanks to an unbroken 50-run stand in just over four overs.

It proved a winning total as the Royals were left needing victory in their final game to stay in contention for the play-offs.

Punjab made a spectacular start thanks to Virender Sehwag's 18 from only eight deliveries as the veteran India batsman clubbed Vikramjeet Malik for 15 in the first over, including two boundaries and a six over the backward point boundary.

However, after hitting one more four in the third over, he tamely top-edged James Faulkner to Malik at mid-on with the total on 24.

Manan Vohra (25) was in next and started equally well with a four and six off Shane Watson to start the fourth over as the hosts raced past 50 in the sixth over.

But he too succumbed after getting a start and was needlessly run out looking for a second to Rahul Tewatia that was not there.

Marsh and Wriddhiman Saha then added 59 in just 6.4 overs as Punjab raced past 100 in the 12th over.

But as the rain began to fall with the total on 113 it appeared to disturb the concentration of the Australian and he perished to Malik, caught by Ajinkya Rahane on the long-on fence.

Saha fell six runs later to Tewatia, caught on the same boundary for 27.

However, Miller plundered two sixes in his 20-balls, while Bailey struck one six and a four in his 18-delivery stay.

The Royals began their chase well enough, despite the early loss of Karun Nair (11), reaching 50 for one in the seventh over.

But Rahane (23), Watson (nought), Sanju Samson (30) and Stuart Binny (seven) all fell in quick succession - a spell when four wickets fell for 27.

Dhawan and Singh were the pair that turned the screw as Rajasthan then limped to 100 in the 16th over.

Despite the efforts of top-scorer Faulkner, unbeaten on 35 off a mere 13 balls, and Brad Hodge (31 off 18), the home side held on for a comfortable win.

KINGS XI PUNJAB: V Sehwag, M Vohra, SE Marsh, DA Miller, GJ Bailey (capt), WP Saha (wk), AR Patel, R Dhawan, Karanveer Singh, BE Hendricks, L Balaji

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: AM Rahane, KK Nair, SR Watson (capt), SV Samson (wk), BJ Hodge, STR Binny, JP Faulkner, KK Cooper, R Tewatia, VS Malik, PV Tambe

Read more on:    kings xi punjab  |  ipl  |  cricket

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