IPL Match 3 round-up: Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals

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The Rajasthan Royals impressively beat the Kings XI Punjab as Australian all rounder James Faulkner stole the show with both bat and ball.

Faulkner hit 46 runs off just 33 balls to help boost the Royals total to a very defendable 162 of their 20 overs. He then starred with the ball for the away side, picking up three wickets for a mere 26 runs off his four overs.

World Cup hero, Steven Smith was appointed as stand-in captain for the royals, as Shane Watson picked up an injury during the warm up.

From the outset, it then seemed that all of the Royals hopes would firmly lie with Smith, who scored 33 of 23 balls.

Punjab woes

The Kings XI chase started in disastrous fashion as former Indian international Virender Sehwag nicked the first ball of their innings to the Royals wicket keeper Sanju Samson.

It was only Murali Vijay, who scored 37 runs off 32 balls put up any sort of fight for the runners up of IPL 2014; skipper George Bailey, batting at seven departed for 24 runs after Tim Southee stunningly palmed the ball back into play one handed to Karun Nair after he had passed the boundary rope in mid air.

Time to improve

Bailey’s side can take confidence in the fact they are only one game into the new campaign; there is plenty of time to turn their fortunes around and emulate their successes of IPL 2014.

The Rajasthan Royals on the other hand will be brimming with confidence as they sit nicely on top of the points table on net run rate. They have Kolkata and Chennai, who are both two-time IPL champions hot on their heels.

Next up

There will be no rest bite for the Royals however, as they have to prepare to face a new look Delhi Daredevils side in just two days (April 12).

The Kings XI Punjab face a trip away to the Wankhede stadium in Maharashtra where they will take on the Mumbai Indians in the second of the two clashes on April 12.

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