Rajasthan Royals crush Kings XI by 78 runs (Lead)

May 5th, 2009 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Durban, May 5 (IANS) Graeme Smith and Naman Ojha plundered 135 runs for the opening wicket, as defending champions Rajasthan Royals crushed Kings XI Punjab by 78 runs to continue their rapid march in Indian Premier League (IPL) here Tuesday.
Ojha, promoted up the order, stroked 68 of 51 balls while Smith hammered 77 off just 44 balls as Royals raced to 211 for four in 20 overs, the highest total in IPL-II, at the Kingsmead.

Kings XI Punjab lost wickets from the start and could make only 133 in 20 overs as debutant pacer Amit Singh claimed three wickets for just nine runs from his four overs. Royals thus climbed to second place on the points table.

Amit Singh, playing his first Twenty20 game, took two wickets in his first over and Kings XI could never recover from that.

Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne had asked his misfiring top-order to perform. Tuesday night Warne would have no complaint as the batting fired triumphantly.

Ojha, who replaced an out-of-form Swapnil Asnodkar as opener, set the tone for the most devastating batting display in this competition, punishing Ramesh Powar for 16, smashing two sixes over long-on, in the first over.

Smith soon joined Ojha with some powerful shots off his backfoot. The duo continued in the same vein, attacking every bowler.

Sreesanth, who was returning from an injury, bore the brunt, punished for 44 runs in four overs. Kings XI’s best bowler in the tournament, Yusuf Abdulla,too, was not spared and gave away 44 runs in just three overs.

Ojha struck five sixes and five fours while Smith hit 12 fours and one six.

Punjab made a comeback with three quick wickets, including the two openers and Yusuf Pathan, who hit one four and one six in his 12. Ravindra Jadeja hit a blistering 33 off 12 balls while Lee Carseldine added 16 to see the team past 200-mark.

Royals were then off to a good start with Singh, the fast bowler from Gujarat, dismissing Sunny Sohal in the first over of the innings. There was no looking back for Royals from there on.

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