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IPL Match 18: Kings XI Punjab stun Rajasthan Royals in Super Over

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In what was arguably the most enjoyable game in Season 8 of the Indian Premier League thus far, the Kings XI Punjab handed the Rajasthan Royals their first defeat of the campaign, needing a super over to upset the runaway IPL leaders.

The Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to send the Rajasthan Royals in to bat, a decision they were soon left to rue as the home-less Royals shared a 95-run stand for the opening wicket with Shane Watson (45) and Ajinkya Rahane (74) continuing from where they left off in the last game.

Rahane was the more aggressive initially, finding the boundary with ease with text-book cricket shots, while Watson took a while to find his feet. However, once the Aussie allrounder had played himself in, he quickly took on the spinners and carted the ball to all parts.

Steve Smith (0) and James Faulkner (1) fell cheaply for the Royals, but their in-form Indian contingent played some exemplary cricket with Deepak Hooda (19 from 9 balls) and Karun Nair (25 from 13 balls) producing the late fireworks necessary to take them to an imposing total of 191-6.

That should have been good enough for the Royals to win the game, but Shaun Marsh, playing his first match of the tournament and South African smasher David Miller struck excellent half-centuries to rescue Punjab after they had slumped to 59-3 in the 9th over with Virender Sehwag (1) and Glenn Maxwell (1) failing to fire.

Marsh hit 65 from just 40 deliveries, while David Miler clubbed 54 from 30 to keep the run chase alive. Their departure did little to halt Punjab's quest with Wriddhiman Saha (19 from 8 balls), Axar Patel (12 from 7) and Mitchell Johnson (13 from 7) chipping in with some quick runs late on.

The equation came down to 5 to win from the last ball, and Patel carved it over backward point for a one-bounce four to send the match into a super-over.

Chris Morris bowled the over that mattered, and dismissed Miller first ball, however, the South African lost his length on subsequent deliveries and ended up conceding 15 runs in the over. In reality he should have only given up 14, with Marsh surviving a plumb leg before decision after being struck in-front of middle stump by a yorker on the last ball of the over, but somehow Umpire S Ravi decided to signal a leg-bye with the ball certain to miss the off-and-leg stumps with only the middle one in its sights.

The Royals responded with a very poor decision of sending James Faulkner out to bat with Shane Watson, keeping Steve Smith padded up at no.3. Watson, who struggled against Mitch Johnson all game was bowled first ball, and though Smith did manage to nick the next ball, a high full toss to the boundary, James Faulkner was run out by an alert Wriddhiman Saha a couple of deliveries later (after a swing and a miss), to wrap up an incredible win for Kings XI Punjab.

The Royals looked shattered after suffering their first defeat of the season, and in hindsight might have been better advised to send out in-form big hitters like Deepak Hooda and Karun Nair, instead of sticking with their foreign talent at the crunch.

Mini Scorecard:

Rajasthan Royals 191/6 (20 overs, 9.55rpo)

A Rahane 74 (54) A Patel 2-30 (4)

S Watson 45 (35) S Sharma 1-25 (4)

Kings XI Punjab 191/6 (20 overs, 9.55rpo)

S Marsh 65 (40) P Tambe 1-20 (3)

D Miller 54 (30) R Tewatia 1-31 (3)

Super Over:

Kings XI Punjab - 15/2 (1 over)

Rajasthan Royals - 5/2 (0.3 overs)

Kings XI Punjab win in a Super Over