Rajasthan Royals defeated Kings XI Punjab by 26 runs in their first match of the 2015 edition of the Indian Premier League at the MCA International Stadium in Pune on Friday. The Punjabi outfit won the toss and put the Royals into bat. Sanju Samson (9) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) had a short lived opening stand as both batsmen departed in consecutive overs as the visitors found themselves on 14/2.
The captain for this match, Steve Smith, and Karun Nair were the new men at the crease and they were able to add a further 21 runs before the Royals lost their third wicket, Nair, for eight. Quick wickets became a problem for the men in blue as they lost Smith five overs later for 33 when he played one shot too many and got a thick top edge off a Mitchell Johnson (2/34) ball straight to deep third man. In addition Stuart Binny departed two balls later to leave Paddy Upton’s men on 75/5.
James Faulkner and Deepak Hooda (30) played a cameo for their team putting on a useful partnership of 51 runs to help them to 126/5 before the latter was castled by Anureet Singh (3/23). Faulkner (46) was the seventh wicket to fall in the final over as the Rajasthan Royals completed their 20 overs recording a score of 162/7. In reply Kings XI lost Virender Sehwag for a duck off the first ball of the over.
Wriddhiman Saha joined Murali Vijay but this partnership was a short one as some miscommunication lead to the run out of Saha for just seven runs. The big-hitting Glenn Maxwell joined Vijay at the crease but only managed to contribute a mere seven before he was dismissed by his fellow Australian Faulkner (3/26). Axar Patel and the established batsmen managed to get the men in red to 61/3 before Vijay was run out by Samson.
David Miller came to the crease with his side needing 99 runs to win and he started off slowly in his attempt to get them over the line but he managed to add 23 runs to his side’s score before he mistimed one to Faulkner in the deep. In a spot of bother the Punjabi skipper Bailey made his way to the middle to join Patel (24) and together they managed to reduce the deficit to 41 runs before their sixth wicket fell closely followed by the seventh and eighth, that of Johnson for a duck, and the skipper (24) who was caught brilliantly by Tim Southee (2/26) and Nair in tandem on the boundary as the Rajasthan Royals ran out winners by 26 runs.