Royals cruise to triumph over Punjab
The Kings XI Punjab limped to a disappointing 134 for eight, to lose by 43 runs to the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL clash at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Saturday.
Shane Watson, Shaun Tait and Johan Botha took two wickets apiece for the Royals, as they completed a clinical win away from home.
None of the Punjab batsmen made an impression on the match, with Shaun Marsh's 34 at the top of the innings their best score.
Azhar Mahmood (24) and Gurkeerat Singh (23) saved their blushes somewhat, but the Royals coasted to a much needed win.
Earlier, Rahul Dravid had won the toss and elected to bat , but lost his opening partner Ajinkya Rahane (5) as early as the second over, as he was caught behind off Ryan Harris's second ball.
Dravid and the powerful Watson then combined for a brisk 71, with Watson clubbing 36 off just 17 balls, including two massive sixes.
The leg-spin of Piyush Chawla accounted for Watson, though, as he was caught in the deep by Harris.
Dravid, who eventually fell for a steady 46 off 39 balls, was the glue for the visitors, and he added another 41 with Menaria (34) for the third wicket.
The latter was also ousted by Chawla, after Dravid himself had become Harris's second wicket.
When Menaria fell at the end of the 16th over, the visitors were handily placed at 133 for 4. Brad Hodge then drilled a hasty 36 off 23 balls, with a pair of sixes and fours.
Johan Botha chipped in with a couple of fours himself, as the Royals set a target that proved too much for their hosts.
The Royals will hope the win kickstarts their season, while it is back to the drawing board for the Kings XI Punjab, who are really missing their skipper, Adam Glichrist.
KINGS XI PUNJAB: Nitin Saini (wk), Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, David Hussey (capt), Azhar Mahmood, Abishek Nayar, Ryan Harris, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Gurkeerat Singh.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Rahul Dravid (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Ashok Menaria, Ankeet Chavan, Johan Botha, Stuart Binny, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi.