Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2012, Jaipur April 6, 2012

Rahane's 98 sets up easy Rajasthan win

35

Rajasthan Royals 191 for 4 (Rahane 98) beat Kings XI Punjab 160 for 9 (Mandeep 34, Cooper 4-26) by 31 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ajinkya Rahane purred his way to 98 off 66 deliveries and carried Rajasthan Royals to a comfortable win in their opening match of the season. Faced with a stiff target of 192 after choosing to bowl, the fight went out of Kings XI Punjab as soon as they lost Adam Gilchrist in the fifth over. Trinidad & Tobago's Kevon Cooper accounted for four wickets with his slow-mediums on IPL debut as Kings XI meandered along without threatening to challenge Royals.

The damage had already been done at the start by Rahane who played an innings full of strokes that would not have been out of place in the longer formats of the game. He didn't use power or swagger - he didn't need to - but still hurt Kings XI. Their patchy attack could not bother Rahane at all, as he picked gaps at will with precision.

An opening partnership of 77 inside ten overs set Royals on their way with their captain Rahul Dravid not having to do much apart from supporting Rahane. Rahane has a lower Twenty20 strike-rate than Dravid, not among the swiftest himself, but today, he batted with a serene assurance that eluded his senior partner and idol.

While Dravid and Brad Hodge went too hard at the bowling and mistimed their shots, Rahane seemed to have the right stroke for almost every delivery. The orthodoxy of his batting was evident from the fact that he hit 16 fours, and only one six. There was no slog-sweep over midwicket, there was no scoop over short fine leg.

There were punches on the up through cover, there were deft guides past point, and inside-out lofts over extra cover. Kings XI were put under pressure early on when James Faulkner's first over went for 11. Rahane tore into Praveen Kumar in the third over, a drive, two flicks and a straight push bringing him four fours in five deliveries.

The introduction of spin slowed the scoring a bit but Rahane soon found a way. He was beaten in the flight by a Piyush Chawla delivery, but quickly recovered to go back and punch it over the bowler's head for four. He was soon stepping out repeatedly to negate the spinners.

Gilchrist tried Paul Valthaty's slow-mediums but Rahane took 16 more off that over, his third boundary of the over threading the gap between two point fielders.

Royals lost Dravid and Ashok Menaria in consecutive overs, the 10th and the 11th, but that made no difference to the flow of the innings. Rahane raced towards a century with three consecutive fours off Chawla but was bowled on 98 by Faulker as he tried to make room outside leg, typically, not to slog, but to go through extra cover.

Owais Shah and Cooper launched Royals past 190. Cooper, who caught attention with his performances in the Champions League Twenty20 last year, had an IPL debut to remember. He had a role to play in seven of the nine Kings XI wickets to fall.

Gilchrist began with a series of pulls but was caught by Cooper at mid-on for 27. Paul Valthaty slashed Cooper to gully and Shaun Marsh and Abhishek Nayar succumbed to his lack of pace. The ball seemed to follow Cooper everywhere.

He soon caught David Hussey at long-on off Siddharth Trivedi as Kings XI slipped to 86 for 5. There was to be another wicket, of Piyush Chawla, to give Cooper figures of 4-0-26-4. Not done yet, he ran out Praveen in the last over. Kings XI, though, had already run out of steam after Rahane's elegant display.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • krishay on April 7, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Congrats to the Royals they haavealways been a competitive team and with "The Great Wall" as their leader we can look forward to some great cricket from them. Well plyed by Rahane and Cooper to young men with bright futures !

  • NIKSTERROR on April 7, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Rajasthan is always a team to watch for. They don't buy expensive players but they produce themselves like jadeja, pathan which go for magnanymous prices . I recommend that they should play with Paul Collingwood instead of Brad Hodge

  • Romenevans on April 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @ sanatattavar - couldn't agree with you more. Sachin is indeed the most selfish guy who think himself above the game of cricket and his team too. He is just a big liability on the team for which he plays any format, nothing else. Rahul is the real team player, ready to sacrifice anything he has for the team and that what makes him a real legend and he earn our respect for that. Wall for all!

  • Hrithik_Krissh on April 7, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Go Super Cooper! Well done son!

  • VinodGupte on April 7, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    rahane > nohit sharma

    while nohit sharma is said to have some talent (nobody sees it ever materialize) and he has been playing for india for half a decade (almost) we are yet to see him do anything of substance (WI ODI series notwithstanding) on the field. it is time everybody realizes that he is all hype and no substance. and it is time rahane gets a nod ahead of him in every game, be it ODIs or tests.

  • ramli on April 7, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Well played Rahane .. bad luck not to get to 100 ... but ... will this good batting get him into the palying XI or at least the Indian team ... as long as Sachin is going to hang around in ODIs ... Rahane will be kept outside of the Indian team ... poor guy ... lot of talent wasted ...

  • SanatAttavar on April 7, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    The difference between a Tendulkar and Dravid is while both the batsmen opened with relatively young cricketers Rahul took strike to ease Rahane into the game while Tendulkar asked Levi (playing first time in Indian conditions) to take strike thereby easing himself into the game. Rahul - selfless team man / Tendulkar - selfish team man. Its reading the fine line which is important, infact Manjerekar made a comment on Tendulkar asking Levi to take strike. Tendulkar has to see it himself and realize for the betterment of himself and the game.

  • FAB_ALI on April 7, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    @ sweetspot__ Cooper is super!!! well said.......... he is!!!!!!

  • Romenevans on April 7, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Royal is the team to watch. I think Watson will come in at the end of this month and he will be in for Owais Shah and it will even more strengthen up their balance. The only problem is Trevedi, Amit singh and the spinner Ankit chavan and they needs to be replaced with Pankaj Singh, Sreesanth and some other spinner if they have. This team is looking solid. and the biggest blessing in disguise is Jadega is gone to CSK lol...this guy brings bad luck wherever he goes! and surely one of the most over hyped and over paid player i have ever seen.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    @kavindeven . well said man . rajasthan always bought talented players for much cheap price rather than buying overhyped players like jadeja , vinay kumar for million dollars .

  • krishay on April 7, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Congrats to the Royals they haavealways been a competitive team and with "The Great Wall" as their leader we can look forward to some great cricket from them. Well plyed by Rahane and Cooper to young men with bright futures !

  • NIKSTERROR on April 7, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Rajasthan is always a team to watch for. They don't buy expensive players but they produce themselves like jadeja, pathan which go for magnanymous prices . I recommend that they should play with Paul Collingwood instead of Brad Hodge

  • Romenevans on April 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @ sanatattavar - couldn't agree with you more. Sachin is indeed the most selfish guy who think himself above the game of cricket and his team too. He is just a big liability on the team for which he plays any format, nothing else. Rahul is the real team player, ready to sacrifice anything he has for the team and that what makes him a real legend and he earn our respect for that. Wall for all!

  • Hrithik_Krissh on April 7, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Go Super Cooper! Well done son!

  • VinodGupte on April 7, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    rahane > nohit sharma

    while nohit sharma is said to have some talent (nobody sees it ever materialize) and he has been playing for india for half a decade (almost) we are yet to see him do anything of substance (WI ODI series notwithstanding) on the field. it is time everybody realizes that he is all hype and no substance. and it is time rahane gets a nod ahead of him in every game, be it ODIs or tests.

  • ramli on April 7, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Well played Rahane .. bad luck not to get to 100 ... but ... will this good batting get him into the palying XI or at least the Indian team ... as long as Sachin is going to hang around in ODIs ... Rahane will be kept outside of the Indian team ... poor guy ... lot of talent wasted ...

  • SanatAttavar on April 7, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    The difference between a Tendulkar and Dravid is while both the batsmen opened with relatively young cricketers Rahul took strike to ease Rahane into the game while Tendulkar asked Levi (playing first time in Indian conditions) to take strike thereby easing himself into the game. Rahul - selfless team man / Tendulkar - selfish team man. Its reading the fine line which is important, infact Manjerekar made a comment on Tendulkar asking Levi to take strike. Tendulkar has to see it himself and realize for the betterment of himself and the game.

  • FAB_ALI on April 7, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    @ sweetspot__ Cooper is super!!! well said.......... he is!!!!!!

  • Romenevans on April 7, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Royal is the team to watch. I think Watson will come in at the end of this month and he will be in for Owais Shah and it will even more strengthen up their balance. The only problem is Trevedi, Amit singh and the spinner Ankit chavan and they needs to be replaced with Pankaj Singh, Sreesanth and some other spinner if they have. This team is looking solid. and the biggest blessing in disguise is Jadega is gone to CSK lol...this guy brings bad luck wherever he goes! and surely one of the most over hyped and over paid player i have ever seen.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 7, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    @kavindeven . well said man . rajasthan always bought talented players for much cheap price rather than buying overhyped players like jadeja , vinay kumar for million dollars .

  • on April 7, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas. I agree with bro. For every player Nation will come first and after Records. Rahane should in National Team.

  • sweetspot on April 7, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    Ajinkya played easily the most beautiful IPL innings I have seen in all editions. Cooper is super! RR are making their mark again! Great to see.

  • ishrat1971 on April 7, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    @ al_bundy1 that's the reason Dravid is being praised by one and all. It just took one bad series for him to realize that the reflexes are not what they should be and SRT made his hundreth hundred against Bangladesh on a belter.... India lost that day. Hang up your boots you had two decades of glory but give chance to the younger lot.

  • Sackz on April 7, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    Well well written article. Love it. Great game. Good performance by Rahane and Kooper.

  • Romenevans on April 7, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Think tank behind Rasjasthan always does that. They buy talented players for cheap bargain and then they deliver. They have a strong batting line up, but i think they need to work on their bowling.

  • trinimystry on April 7, 2012, 2:48 GMT

    well done cooper dravid knew cooper was a thrump card the day RR bought him in the auction thats what real Trinidadians are made off i cant wait to see sunil narine in action for KKR

  • on April 7, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    Aaron Jones, by now you should know that cricket is totally about batsmen. Way to go Cooper, don't let your Trini compatriots lead you to believe that you are only T/dadian. The other West Indian Islanders wish you well. Keep up the good work

  • Cpt.Meanster on April 7, 2012, 1:03 GMT

    @Aaron Jones: I understand Cooper did well on the field and as a bowler. However, Rahane set it up for the team. You cannot ignore that fact. So yeah ! the 98 deserves the man of the match award. I say this because if you look at the Kings XI Punjab batting nobody could even bat like him except a cameo by Gilchrist.

  • on April 7, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    Good performance by Rahane and Cooper. Hopefully, both are the future for their respective national teams. It was a good gamble by Dravid to select Cooper and he did his part supporting Rahane at the top, ensuring no early wickets fell. Good start for Rajasthan Royals.

  • agupta429 on April 7, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    @ Aaron, Cooper was good, no doubt. But Rahane set up the match and the pressure on the other team by leading RR to a high total.

    Chasing around 200 means the chasing team has to take a lot of risks.. this is when bowlers and fielders prevail because they get more chances.

    Rahane deserved the man of the match.

  • on April 7, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane played really well, missed 100 but showed promise....

  • on April 7, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    Great job Cooper! Making the people of T&T proud!

  • on April 6, 2012, 23:57 GMT

    Congrats coop , the whole of TNT is behing you guys , you , pollard, bravo , sunil, and hopefully soon lil bravo. Keep flying the flag high.

  • on April 6, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    I think Cooper should have been Man of the Match.... look at what he did in this game... 4 wickets, 2 catches a run out and a cameo 11... so what if Rahane made 98??

  • on April 6, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    Wonderful knock by Rahane and a great allround display by Cooper. Let's see how long the WICB takes to notice Super Cooper. Thanks Rajasthan for giving him the chance to prove himself.

  • on April 6, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    Congrats Kevon. Great job bro Keep our Trinidad flag flying as high as possible

  • on April 6, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    @ David Gravitas....there is a feeling in the West Indies that there are two much Trinidad and Tobago players in the Caribbean team right now. Windies selectors are pathetic and seems like they do not care of winning, just pleasing all within the islands.

  • on April 6, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    I have no idea who's playing who, ever since Pakistan has been ignored, its not about the money which they pay to the players but its about the viewership. I am not Pakistani but I love to watch the entire world to play in a league whether its the IPL, ICL , BPL or PPL. If shahid Afridi was there, If umargul was there and many more. I am just only one fan who would listen to the commentary on the radio from 2am in the morning but not any more.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on April 6, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    Isn't it mind-boggling that Dravid said even before the start of IPL that Cooper is one of the sure stars of this IPL but WICB didn't even select him to play for Windies? If Dravid can see his talent from this far, why can't WICB see such a talent right under their nose? Windies will do themselves a favour by selecting Cooper or at least hire somebody as shrewd as Dravid as a selection consultant for their board. Utter shame that Cooper isn't playing for Windies. Rahane, what can we say about you bro? Shame on the team management for making you warm the bench while we kept losing, losing and losing. The way you went on about your business without bothering for your first century should be a lesson for one certain selfish player in our national team. This is what I have been saying. Give chance to some youngster who will play some honest cricket unlike one certain selfish player because of whom we didn't even get selected for Asia Cup finals. Rahane won my heart with his honesty today.

  • S.Jagernath on April 6, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    An amazing innings by Ajinkya Rahane,hope the IPL will help him gain the attention to get him a test debut.Mandeep Singh also looked decent with the bat.

  • Precioustar84 on April 6, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    I was impressed with Cooper in CLT20 last year and I'm happy Dravid had confidence in Cooper to select him to debut. Hope he continues to do well for RR as I'm supporting IPL this year only for Dravid. Hope WICB was watching this though!! He's very impressive and his career will go long way if WI gives him proper chances and if not, he will fare well like other WI players in IPL.

  • Al_Bundy1 on April 6, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    Excellent knock by Rahane. BCCI Selectors - R U Watching? How long will you keep playing old horses like Sehwag, 10dulkar and Laxman? How many more washouts do we have to endure before you kick them out? It's time to replace Sehwag with Rahane, and replace Laxman with Badri/Pujara/Mohd Kaif. I know you don't have the guts to drop 10dulkar - so I won't even go there.

  • on April 6, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    And still WIBC not offering central contracts to T&T players. Yes my friends, insularity is rife still in Caribbean cricket. Meanwhile, IPL viewers, enjoy your T&T imports!

  • on April 6, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    WELL DONE ROYALS...KEEP IT UP.

  • ramps_wi on April 6, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Well done Cooper, you earn that 50,000 in one night yes..... hope WI selectors watching the IPL

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • ramps_wi on April 6, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Well done Cooper, you earn that 50,000 in one night yes..... hope WI selectors watching the IPL

  • on April 6, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    WELL DONE ROYALS...KEEP IT UP.

  • on April 6, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    And still WIBC not offering central contracts to T&T players. Yes my friends, insularity is rife still in Caribbean cricket. Meanwhile, IPL viewers, enjoy your T&T imports!

  • Al_Bundy1 on April 6, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    Excellent knock by Rahane. BCCI Selectors - R U Watching? How long will you keep playing old horses like Sehwag, 10dulkar and Laxman? How many more washouts do we have to endure before you kick them out? It's time to replace Sehwag with Rahane, and replace Laxman with Badri/Pujara/Mohd Kaif. I know you don't have the guts to drop 10dulkar - so I won't even go there.

  • Precioustar84 on April 6, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    I was impressed with Cooper in CLT20 last year and I'm happy Dravid had confidence in Cooper to select him to debut. Hope he continues to do well for RR as I'm supporting IPL this year only for Dravid. Hope WICB was watching this though!! He's very impressive and his career will go long way if WI gives him proper chances and if not, he will fare well like other WI players in IPL.

  • S.Jagernath on April 6, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    An amazing innings by Ajinkya Rahane,hope the IPL will help him gain the attention to get him a test debut.Mandeep Singh also looked decent with the bat.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on April 6, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    Isn't it mind-boggling that Dravid said even before the start of IPL that Cooper is one of the sure stars of this IPL but WICB didn't even select him to play for Windies? If Dravid can see his talent from this far, why can't WICB see such a talent right under their nose? Windies will do themselves a favour by selecting Cooper or at least hire somebody as shrewd as Dravid as a selection consultant for their board. Utter shame that Cooper isn't playing for Windies. Rahane, what can we say about you bro? Shame on the team management for making you warm the bench while we kept losing, losing and losing. The way you went on about your business without bothering for your first century should be a lesson for one certain selfish player in our national team. This is what I have been saying. Give chance to some youngster who will play some honest cricket unlike one certain selfish player because of whom we didn't even get selected for Asia Cup finals. Rahane won my heart with his honesty today.

  • on April 6, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    I have no idea who's playing who, ever since Pakistan has been ignored, its not about the money which they pay to the players but its about the viewership. I am not Pakistani but I love to watch the entire world to play in a league whether its the IPL, ICL , BPL or PPL. If shahid Afridi was there, If umargul was there and many more. I am just only one fan who would listen to the commentary on the radio from 2am in the morning but not any more.

  • on April 6, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    @ David Gravitas....there is a feeling in the West Indies that there are two much Trinidad and Tobago players in the Caribbean team right now. Windies selectors are pathetic and seems like they do not care of winning, just pleasing all within the islands.

  • on April 6, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    Congrats Kevon. Great job bro Keep our Trinidad flag flying as high as possible