Cape Town, April 27 (Inditop) Kings XI Punjab are back in the hunt, winning their second consecutive match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) II here. They beat defending champions Rajasthan Royals by 27 runs in a low scoring match at the Newlands.
Chasing a target of 140, Rajasthan Royals made 112 for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs after a fighting partnership from Ravindra Jadeja (37) and Shane Warne (34 not out).
Defending a small target, Kings XI came out with a disciplined performance and Yusuf Abdulla emerged as the most successful bowler with three for 21 while Irfan Pathan and Piyush Chawla got two wickets each.
After winning the toss, Kings XI Punjab recovered from a poor start with Man of the Match Kumar Sangakkara’s 60 off 51 balls while some big hits by Irfan (39) helped them to put up 139 for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs.
For Rajasthan Royals with some big hitters in their side the target of 140 looked achievable. But unfortunately they started on a disastrous note as the first three wickets tumbled in the fifth over.
Irfan first removed the openers Swapnil Asnodkar (3) and Graeme Smith (2) cheaply and then Abdulla put Rajasthan Royals on the backfoot by picking up the wickets of Robert Quiney (7) and Dimitry Mascarenhas (4).
Jadeja and Warne then added 60-runs in 57 balls to take Royals closer to the target but their efforts were not enough.
The Kings XI bowlers hardly gave any room to the Rajasthan Royals batsmen to free their arms.
There was hardly any batsmen in the Rajasthan Royals team, who could play an innings Sangakkara did to bail out Kings XI from a precarious situation.
Sangakkara dropped anchor with his patient 51-ball stay to give a stability to the innings. In the later stages he accelerated and hit seven boundaries and one six.
The Sri Lankan captain got good help from Irfan, whose breezy knock helped the Kings XI team get a respectable target on board.