Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 14, 2013

Seamers set up comfortable win for Royals


Rajasthan Royals 126 for 4 (Rahane 34*, Praveen 2-10) beat Kings XI Punjab 124 (Hussey 41, Sreesanth 2-20, Trivedi 2-21) by 6 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Days after he kicked up a storm on Twitter, Sreesanth brought about another, on the field, in a state known for its colourful storms. This storm was of the more desirable variety for everyone involved, except of course the opposition, Kings XI Punjab, who failed to play out their 20 overs for the second game in a row. For the second game in a row, David Hussey top-scored with 41, and for the second time in a row his side was beaten comprehensively.

After the Sreesanth storm - two wickets in his first over and a maiden to follow - there were persistent showers all around. James Faulkner, Siddharth Trivedi and Kevon Cooper got two each, snubbing every little rising from Kings XI. Their second wickets gave Cooper the purple cap and Trivedi lead over Shane Warne as the most successful Rajasthan Royals bowler. All this meant a below-par total to chase, which Royals did with ease.

A bowlers' captain, Rahul Dravid has stacked his side up with seamers and has played his home games on green tracks this season. This game was no different, and he won the toss too. A surprise was in the offing as the non-turning tall offspinner Ajit Chandila bowled the first over, but the game was damaged irrevocably in the second.

Sreesanth bowled fast and accurate, and there was enough movement around for him to become dangerous. Adam Gilchrist drove in front of his body and failed to keep the ball down, offering mid-off an easy catch. Off the last ball of that over, the talented Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh was done in by movement away and edged a cut to third man.

Arguably, Sreesanth's second over was better than the first, when he swung the ball away consistently, and the pressure resulted in a risky single, and a direct hit from James Faulkner at the only stump visible to him. After that maiden, Kings XI were 10 for 3 after four overs, and sides don't come back from that in Twenty20s. Well, except in World Cup finals.

And there was no Marlon Samuels around. Hussey tried his best, though, cutting and running hard, but he was desperately lonely in the fight. Trivedi came and immediately began to bowl short of a length and just outside off. The pitch provided him enough seam movement to make it seem monstrous in Twenty20. Gurkeerat Singh went first. R Sathish followed to a similar delivery from Faulkner. The big wicket came soon enough for Royals when Hussey failed to keep a slower one down, and Dravid took it on second attempt at mid-off. Kings XI were 75 for 6 in the 13th.

There was an odd swing from Azhar Mahmood and Praveen Kumar, but 124 was going to hardly test Royals. That total lost any such testing ambitions when the returning Shane Watson came and thumped the ball all around to score 32 off 19. That innings left Royals enough cushion for Ajinkya Rahane to absorb the middle-overs blows and take the team to a comfortable win with an equally important 34 off 42.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kapil on April 15, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Its sad to see a player like Pomersbach not getting a game.. And with the form he is in, he can give Punjab a rollicking start and set it up for Vohra/Hussey/Maan.. Gilchrist tried but isn't clicking so, should step aside, let Saini take the gloves and drop Sathish.. You cannot pick a player just for fielding.. This would make the team balanced.. And Mahmood should play at 4/5 as he needs some time to get his eye in...Hussey should always bat at 3 with others shuffling around.. if they do not make it count in the next 2 games, the tournament would be as good as over for Punjab...

  • Mufaddal on April 15, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Hope the same will continue till final and RR will become champion of 2013 IPL

  • pradeep on April 15, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    good win this for RR...nice to see sreesanth back in form..

  • Dummy4 on April 15, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Full support to RR.Now they have to give chance to sachin baby also...Congrats to sree nd sanju :)

  • Isuru on April 15, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Relax guys RR cant make plaoffs...Mumbai,CSK,RCB,KKR are going to make playoffs.Thanxx....

  • Dummy4 on April 15, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    My team for RR is 1)Shane Watson 2)Rahul Dravid 3)Rahane 4)Shah 5)Sachin Baby 6) Samson 7)Faulkner 8)Kooper9)Sreesanth10)Trivedi11)(any better spinner)

  • Ananthu on April 15, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Sreesanth deserve to be mom.sanju played superbly.dravid should make a call on sachin baby a talented batsmen in place of binny make batting even stronger..shaun tait in place of cooper gives xfactor as coopers batting ability is average n faulkner is allrounder..

  • Kavin on April 15, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Hmmmmmm! Watch out for Sanju Samon. He was great behind the wickets and did anybody see him playing the bouncers so well? Binny out and Sachin Baby in the next game. This team has some serious stuff going on.

  • Subramani on April 15, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    I was happy to see Sreesanth get noticed more for his bowling than in his off field performances. Fast bowlers are considered to be the ultimate macho superstars. Which is why viewing fast bowlers like Kapil and Sreesanth cry in public or on TV quite laughable. If only Sreesanth would realise that 'Slapgate' as the media have labelled this sordid happening, is not something that captures public imagination he would be better served. That is because the joke is on him really. I am glad with the way he bowled last night, In fact it was closer to what was expected from him at the start of his international career. Sanju Samson on the other hand seems lesser of public demonstrations and more of efficiency. He is very promising as a keeper and it would be worth seeing his batting prowess. With the tall Sandeep Warrier said to be good I think Kerala's stocks are on the rise. I only hope that they are more like Yohanan and Kuruvilla. Not demonstrative but effective cricketers.