James Faulkner’s All-rounding performance helped Rajasthan Royals to win their first match of IPL 2015 against Kings XI Punjab. RR defeat KXIP by 26 runs at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. Faulkner made 46 runs in 33 balls to take Rajasthan’s score up to 162/7 in 20 overs and he also took 3 wickets in four overs bowling quota. For this all round performance James Faulkner was named Man of the Match.
Kings 11 Punjab won toss and chose to field first. Their decision became pretty well in the favor when they took three wickets first 6 overs. That time Rajasthan Royals were struggling at 35 runs score on green top wicket. Captain Steve Smith and Stuart Binny built 39 runs partnership for 4th wicket before Smith was dismissed by Johnson. After this Binny was also dismissed by Johnson. RR was in big trouble as their total was 75/5 in 11 overs.
After this James Faulkner and Deepak Hooda played some glorious shoots especially Faulkner. Australian James hit 3 big sixes and 2 fours to take his team’s score past 160 which was a good total to defend. Kings XI Punjab batting line up was too destructive and it was an achievable target for them. But they disappointed all supporters and failed to win the game.
In the chase of 163 runs target, they lost Virender Sehwag on the very first ball of the innings. Murali Vijay and Saha tried to provide flying start to KXIP and Vijay started to exploit RR bowling. But Rajasthan bowlers bowled really well took two more wickets in the mandatory power play overs. Saha and Maxwell returned to pavilion after contributing just 7-7 runs each.
Sanju Sampson had great day in the field as he was responsible to take the wickets of Saha and Vijay. The more surprising decision that caused the game to Punjab as Axar Patel came to bat ahead of David Miller and George Bailey. Patel made 24 in 28 balls which created lots of pressure to Bailey and Miller. Both these KXIP match winners failed to score and team lost the match by 26 runs.
James Faulkner took three wickets whereas Tim Southee also got two wickets in Kings 11 Punjab innings.