Punjab v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Mohali May 9, 2013

Royals in second place after eight-wicket victory


Rajasthan Royals 147 for 2 (Rahane 59*, Samson 47*) beat Kings XI Punjab 145 for 6 (Marsh 77, Cooper 3-23) by 8 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A masterful death bowling effort, and Ajinkya Rahane's third straight fifty, helped consolidate Rajasthan Royals' place in the top four as they beat Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets in Mohali. Kevon Cooper was the primary architect of Kings XI's slow-down towards the end of their innings, as his measured slower deliveries exploited the slow nature of the Mohali surface, and swept away much of the momentum Shaun Marsh and Adam Gilchrist had secured in a 102-run stand. Having arrived at the 14th over at 100 for 1, Kings XI could only stumble to 145 for 6 in their 20 overs and the batsmen failed to hit a boundary in the last four overs of their innings.

Cooper's first victim was Gilchrist, who reinstated himself in the side after three matches. He had batted securely for 42 from 32, and helped Marsh overcome an indifferent start, until he offered Cooper a return catch off an offcutter that took longer to arrive than he had anticipated. Cooper returned in the 17th over, proving difficult to get away, and should have had Marsh out then, had Rahul Dravid held on to a catch running back from cover. Cooper got both Marsh and David Miller next over though, again off slower balls, as both men perished attempting heaves across the line. He finished with 3 wickets for 23 from his four overs.

At the toss, Dravid had cited his side's preference for chasing scores as a reason for fielding first, and his choice proved an insightful one as Royals executed a smooth run chase to record their seventh-straight victory batting second. Dravid was uncharacteristically undone by the flight of a dipping Bipul Sharma delivery, but Rahane steadied the chase, alongside Shane Watson, and they rarely allowed the run rate to waver.

The pitch seemed to quicken as the match headed to its denouement - again a phenomenon Dravid had expected at the toss - and the hosts' fast bowlers could not build any pressure on the batsmen. Among Rahane's finest strokes was a languid six over extra-cover off Piyush Chawla, and an arrogant punch through the covers off Parvinder Awana.

Watson and Rahane put on 66 before Watson was dismissed by Chawla. Rahane subsequently gained a bundle of spirited raw-talent in 18-year-old Sanju Samson, who actually outshone Rahane in the latter part of the innings. The pair relied largely on singles and twos to form the base of their partnership, but quickly began finding the boundary as well, Samson doing so with particular audacity. He was unbeaten on 47 from 33 after hitting the winning boundary at the end of the 19th over, with Rahane on 59 from 49.

Marsh's 64-ball 77 was the backbone of Kings XI's foundation, but their failure to kick on from a good start ultimately cost them the match.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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  • beverly on May 10, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Yes, it's only an IPL match; and it's the first time that I am seeing Sanju Samson! However, I know when real class hits the scene! Sanju Samson is the best eighteen year old batsman in the world! I announced Rohit Sharma when he arrived, and to date his No.4 position is being held up by a person of far less class in the Indian test test squad, the only person who has played cricket in any format "WITHOUT ANY PRESSURE" ! The only player who has been told "just go on playing without any fear, because anything you do, YOU ARE UNDROPPABLE"! However, I would like to see the best batting prospect that I have seen, since Brian Lara between 1990 and 2006, that is that 18 year old SANJU SAMPSON being drafted into the Indian team immediately and given the No.4 position in the batting line up. That guy has more class than I've seen from India within the last 30 years! It's youths like him whose praises the Indian fans should be singing, not that of any has-been who has always been over rated!

  • Unmesh on May 10, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    I am still amazed that M Vijay was chosen over Rahane for the Champions Trophy. Vijay has been scratchy in this IPL. Also, he has been unsuccessful in ODIs for India. Rahane was never given a good chance to prove himself in ODIs. A couple of failures and he was dropped. It seems he never receives similar kind of support from the team management (read captain) as players like Jadeja do. Jadeja has been successful recently, but after millions of chances. It would have been okay if some other in-form batsman had been chosen over Rahane. But Vijay for ODIs? On what basis? Either selectors went by his recent Test performances or this is just a case of preferential treatment to the CSK players as always.

  • Firdaus on May 10, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    Top stuff all round from RR. Improvements: Faulkner is a bit too expensive upfront, they should hold him back for the middle overs. Give him one at the top. Yagnik out, Binny in if he's fit. Good on Dravid for playing more bowlers, their batting is already solid. Positives: Kevon Cooper bowled really well. He needs to bowl after the ball gets a bit softer, it's difficult to time the ball. Rahane's form is fantastic, and Sanju Samson: just wow! That extraordinary late cut deserved the innovative thinking award. Amazingly calm head on those shoulders.

    Nice to see Gilly back in action. KXIP need to make some changes to their batting order, though.

  • Sirsak on May 10, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    @narbavi win the wc 2015?lol sounds funny by the way wc 2015 will not be played in india

  • Hardeep on May 10, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    I must say that my heart goes out for Rahane... He should have been in the Champions trophy... Again Rohit Sharma was looked beyond Ajinkya... I don't doubt Rohit's ability but somehow he was unable to carry his IPL form to the Indian team.. Rahane should be given more chance to prove his mettled... I am really happy for Umesh Yadav to be back with such great confidence... remember that super over against RCB.. he was chosen over Morkel... India should learn being shrewd during team selection.. as Aussies or SA/ENG

  • narbavi on May 10, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    @ Kavindeven: Absolutely and look at the shots these two play, everyone loves watching Rahane's classical shots compared to those ugly swipes Rohit plays, i don't want to blame Rohit, i would rather blame the selectors for repeatedly turning to him!! we need the trio of Rahane Pujara and Kohli to win the world cup in 2015

  • narbavi on May 10, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    @veerakannadiga: Same here, anyway all teams represent our cities, i am from chennai, but CSK is only my second love as long as Dravid plays in the ipl

  • yogi on May 10, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    @Madan Shivkumar, well said mate. Yeah most of the people supporting RR are Dravid's fans. I am an ex RCB supporter myself. Reason Dravid was treated shabbily by RCB. My loyalty is with RD & not any particular team. At the end of the day, all these teams represent our Indian cities. So my support goes, wherever Dravid goes. What a man. God Bless him. from a loyal Dravid fan

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    RR is playing CSK in next match. RR Should play to it's strength. They should chase against CSK if they win the toss. Shukla should come in for Shree and Binny(if fit) for Yagnik. Other than that the team is fine. RD shouldnt make too many changes now on.

    Hodge looks little rusty so it wouldnt be a bad idea to ask him to come at no.4 sometime once they secure the playoff position.

  • Kavin on May 10, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    @Narbavi - Not to mention Rahane is one of top 3 fielders in India. Remember the Delhi India Pakistan game when we defended the small total? It was Rahane's fielding effort that started the momentum and then Raina, Kohli chipped in. Small things we don't notice but they matter when a team wins with everyone's contribution. Rahane is miles ahead of Rohit in terms of temperament and a better fielder too. The thing for Rohit is, he score runs against mediocre bowlign attacks of IPL, and then he gets into the team...follwing, he fails miserably for India then again gets dropped and then again here comes IPL. Feel really bad for Rahane.

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