Rahane, Cooper star for Rajasthan

News

Ajinkya Rahane smashed a brilliant 98, while IPL debutant Kevon Cooper took four wickets as the Rajasthan Royals got their 2012 campaign off to a flying start with a 31-run victory over the Kings XI Punjab on Friday.

Ajinkya Rahane smashed a brilliant 98, while IPL debutant Kevon Cooper took four wickets as the Rajasthan Royals got their 2012 campaign off to a flying start with a 31-run victory over the Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur on Friday.

Rahane delivered his brilliant knock off just 66 balls while fellow opener Rahul Dravid added 28 in an opening-wicket stand of 77. Brief cameos from Brad Hodge (21 not out) and Owais Shah (14 not out) got the Royals up to a sensational 191 for four off their 20 overs which was the highest score of the 2012 tournament.

At that point, Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist would have been ruing his decision to put the opposition in to bat as his team would need a near ten runs per over for victory.

Gilchrist got his side off to a brisk start by smashing a few early boundaries, but the wicketkeeper could only make 27 off 18 balls as he mistimed one, only to be caught by Cooper in the area between mid-on and mid-off.

Fellow Australian Shaun Marsh couldn't make much of an impact as he scored just seven before he and Paul Valthaty becames victims one and two of Cooper.

It was wicket number three for the young West Indian when Abhishek Nayar top-edged to wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami for ten, leaving the Punjab side staring down the barrel at 61 for four.

With the required run-rate on the increase, the search for boundaries also went up which prompted further wickets falling for the Kings XI. Cooper bowled Piyush Chawla with a brilliant slower ball and then could not be kept out of the action and also inflicted the run out of Praveen Kumar.

In the end, the Punjab side could only manage 160 for nine in their 20 overs, as Cooper found himself involved in seven of the nine dismissals thanks to four wickets, two catches and a run-out as Rajasthan completed the 31-run victory.

Latest