Mohali, May 9: Opener Ajinkya Rahane hit his third half century in a row to take Rajasthan Royals to a 8-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in Match 55 of IPL 2013 here at PCA Stadium on Thursday. The win pushed RR to second position in the Points Table with 18 points from 13 games. RR have now moved a step closer to the playoffs.
Rahane once again was the man who led RR's chase. Just like he did in the previous game by carrying the bat against Delhi Daredevils, Rahane did it again. Last game he had made 63 not out and today an unbeaten 59. He had also scored 67 against Pune Warriors prior to DD match. RR comfortably overhauled KXIP's 145 with one over to spare. Young Sanju Samson impressed again, making 47 not out off 33.
Earlier, Shaun Marsh's half century helped Kings XI Punjab to 145/6 in 20 overs. KXIP were eyeing a score in excess of 150 but RR's Kevon Cooper put the brakes on their scoring with a three-wicket haul. Marsh and David Miller fell to Cooper in the same over -19th of the innings. Miller, who had scored a century in his previous game, fell for just 8 runs.
Here are the highlights
# RR moved to second position in the Points Table with 18 points from 13 matches. They are a step closer to playoffs
# KXIP are at 6th with 10 points of 12 games
# Ajinkya Rahane's 59 not out off 49 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes
# Sanju Samson scored 47 not out off 33 with 5 fours and 1 six
# RR hit 12 fours and 5 sixes
# Rahane and Samson had an unfinished partnership of 76 runs in 9.2 overs for the third wicket
# RR were 38/1 in 6 overs. 50 took 46 balls and 100 came off 87 balls
# Shaun Marsh top scored for KXIP with 77 off 64 balls. He hit 6 fours and 2 sixes
# Adam Gilchrist, who returned to the side to captain, hit some form. The left-handed opener made 42 off 32 with 6 fours
# Barring Gilchrist and Marsh, none of the home team batsmen managed to get into double-digit scores
# Kevon Cooper was the most successful bowler for RR. He had figures of 3/23 in 4 overs
# Cooper won the Man of the match award
# In the final 5 overs, KXIP were kept to just 38 runs for 3 wickets
# There were no boundaries scored by KXIP in the final 25 balls of the innings
# Once again, RR opened the bowling with offspinner Ajit Chandila (1/24 in 4 overs)
# KXIP hit 12 fours and 2 sixes (both by Marsh)
# After 6 overs, KXIP were 37/1. 50 came off 40 balls and 100 in 77