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Faulkner scripts easy win for Rajasthan Royals against Punjab

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A fantastic all round performance from Australia's World Cup star James Faulkner allowed former champions the Rajasthan Royals to script a comfortable 26 run win against a power-packed Kings XI Punjab outfit that just failed to fire on the day.

Sent into bat after losing the toss, Rajasthan posted a competitive total of 162-7 on the board thanks to a late flourish from James Faulkner (46) and Deepak Hooda (30), with the duo adding 51 runs in 6 overs after the top order had lost its way and slid to 75-5 at the half-way stage of the innings.

 

Punjab's new ball pairing of Sandeep Sharma (1-19) and Anureet Singh (3-23) were excellent up top, while Mitchell Johnson also had two wickets for just 8 runs from his opening couple of overs, but was hit for plenty late in the innings, including the penultimate over of the Rajasthan essay, which saw him concede 20 runs.

The Kings XI Punjab made a horror start to their response, losing veteran opener Virender Sehwag for a first ball duck, caught behind off Tim Southee. Wriddhiman Saha (7) and Murali Vijay (37) both fell victims to direct hits from wicketkeeper Sanju Samson, and it was the Royals' fielding which made a huge difference in the end.

Glenn Maxwell (5) fell to an outstanding catch from Tim Southee, while the Kiwi combined brilliantly with Karun Nair to take what could well turn out to be the catch of the tournament to dismiss Punjab skipper George Bailey for 24 to end the hopes of the visiting side. Southee the boundary rider caught the ball one-handed and flicked it back into play as he was falling over the rope, and Nair swiftly came to his rescue to also grab the ball one-handed before it landed on the ground to complete the catch.

Punjab will probably be pleased with their effort with the ball, but may need to rethink their batting order, having sent in Axar Patel at no.5 ahead of David Miller (23) and Bailey, and though the young Indian allrounder made 24 runs, he took 27 balls to score them, and that ultimately cost Punjab the game.

Both sides are in action again this Sunday with the Royals taking on the Delhi Daredevils in the 4pm kickoff at the Feroz Shah Kotla, while Kings XI Punjab head to Mumbai next to take on the Mumbai Indians in an important game for both sides chasing their first win.

Teams:

Kings XI Punjab: V Sehwag, M Vijay, G Maxwell, D Miller, G Bailey (c), W Saha (wk), M Johnson, A Patel, A Singh, S Sharma, K Singh

Rajasthan Royals: A Rahane, K Nair, S Samson (wk), D Hooda, S Smith (c), S Binny, J Faulkner, T Southee, D Kulkarni, P Tambe, C Morris

Mini Scorecard:

Rajasthan Royals 162/7 (20 overs, 8.10rpo)

J Faulkner 46 (33) A Singh 3-23 (4)

S Smith 33 (23) M Johnson 2-34 (4)

Kings XI Punjab 136/8 (20 overs, 6.8rpo)

M Vijay 37 (32) J Faulkner 3-26 (4)

G Bailey 24 (18) T Southee 2-36 (4)

Rajasthan Royals win by 26 runs