Apr 142013

Shane Watson IPL

Quickfire … Shane Watson made valuable runs for Rajasthan Royals. Source: AAP

Ajinkya Rahane guided Rajasthan Royals to a six-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur.

Rahane finished 34 not out as the Royals chased down a target of 125 with four balls to spare for their third win out of four in the Indian Premier League this season.

Rahane’s opening partner Shane Watson launched the run chase with a 19-ball 32 that featured seven fours before the Kings XI hit back to reduce the Royals to 4-79, including two wickets for seamer Praveen Kumar (2-10).

But Rahane, who faced 42 balls and struck three fours, and Sanju Samson (27no) saw Rajasthan across the winning line in the final over with a fifth-wicket stand of 47 from 39 deliveries.

David Hussey had earlier top scored with 41 as the Kings XI were bowled out for 124 in 18.5 overs after being sent in.

Rajasthan’s seamers shared the wickets around with two each for Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (2-20), Kevon Cooper (2-33), James Faulkner (2-30) and Siddharth Trivedi (2-21).

In the day’s other match, a virtuoso all-round display from Jaques Kallis inspired Kolkata Knight Riders to a 48-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The South Africa star cracked 41 off 27 balls to help the Knight Riders post 4-180 batting first and then prevented the Sunrisers from topping the IPL table with competition-best figures of 3-13 in the reply.

England’s Eoin Morgan also played a leading role, combining well with Kallis out in the middle to score 47 from only 21 balls.

Morgan’s cameo added late impetus to a Knight Riders innings which had been set-up perfectly through captain Gautam Gambhir’s half-century.

Gambhir shared a 59-run opening partnership with Manvinder Bisla inside eight overs and kicked on to reach his half-century in the 12th over off 39 balls.

Kallis kept the scoreboard ticking along after Gambhir was bowled by Ashish Reddy and Morgan found the rope five times and cleared it on three occasions to put the hosts in a commanding position at the halfway stage.

The Sunrisers knew a successful run-chase would put them on top of the IPL standings and they made a strong start through openers Parthiv Patel (27) and Cameron White (34).

But Kallis (3-13) continued his influential afternoon with the wickets of both openers in his first spell, shifting the momentum of the match in Kolkata’s favour in the process.

Thisara Perera top-scored for Hyderabad with an entertaining 36, a rare highlight on an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the visitors.

Read more: http://www.skysports.com/cricket/match_report/0,,11066_14361_1,00.html

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