KXIP claim top spot after Royals victory

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The Kings XI Punjab claimed top spot on the IPL standings after beating the Rajasthan Royals by 16 runs in Mohali on Friday.

The Kings XI Punjab claimed top spot on the IPL standings after beating the Rajasthan Royals by 16 runs in Mohali on Friday.

After being asked to bat my Royals captain Shane Watson, the home side posted challenging 179 for four in their allotted 20 overs. In response, the Royals were restricted to 168 for eight after losing wickers regularly throughout the chase.

Punjab openers Virender Sehwag (18) and Manan Vohra (28) got the home side off to a flying start before top scorer Shaun Marsh (40) and Wriddhiman (27) added 59 for the third wicket.

After both were dismissed in short succession, unbeaten knocks from David Miller (29) and George Bailey (26) lifted Punjab to 179 – the pair added 60 for the fifth wicket in 5.2 overs.

Rahul Tewatia 1/24 was the most economical of the Royals bowlers, with Vikramjeet Malik (1/29) and James Faulner (1/39) the other wicket takers.

In their response, the Royals lost the wicket of Karun Nair (11) in the third over the match when he was clean bowled by Rishi Dhawan, but the visitors' chase never really got going after Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson (naught) and Stuart Binny (seven) lost their wickets in short succession.

Wicketkeeper Sanju Samson (30) and Tewatia (16) kept things going for Watson's men, but when big hitters Brad Hodge (31) and Faulkner (35 not out) finally came to the wicket with time, the required run rate had skyrocketed and left them with no chance of victory – even though Faulkner hit two maximums off the bowling of Beuran Hendricks in the final over.

It was a night to forget for the South African, who conceded 57 runs in his four overs without taking a wicket.

The wickets were shared around by the Punjab bowlers, although Akshar Patel's 3/24 was the pick of the night.

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