MOHALI: Rajasthan Royals’ hope of making it to the play-offs suffered a set-back as they went down to Kings XI Punjab by 16 runs at the PCA Stadium here yesterday.
Chasing a target of 180, Rajasthan Royals managed 163 for eight in 20 overs after a late onslaught by James Faulkner (35 not out) and Brad Hodge (31).
Rajasthan Royals’ loss opened up the race for the fourth spot and their next match against defending champions Mumbai Indians would be a knock-out match for both the teams.
What baffled many was Royals’ skipper Shane Watson’s decision to send Hodge and Faulkner late in the batting line-up.
They were pretty much on course thanks to brisk knocks from Ajinkya Rahane (23) and Sanju Samson (30).
Earlier, an impressive batting performance took Kings XI to an impressive 179/4 in 20 overs.
With the win, George Bailey’s team ensured they would finish top of the table with their tenth win. The result kept the final play-off spot open, with Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s hopes alive, along with Royals’. AGENCIES
Mumbai: Mumbai Indians handed Delhi Daredevils their eighth straight loss, beating them by 15 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Wankhede Stadium here yesterday.
Mumbai’s third win on the trot kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot -- all be it the smallest of chances.
Mumbai Indians have 12 points, the same as Sunrisers Hyderabad and the only chance of either team making it to the playoffs would be if Rajasthan Royals, who are in fourth with 14 points and a game in hand, lose both their final matches.
The Daredevils’ dismal run since returning from the UAE continued. Delhi are bottom of the table having won just two of 13 matches, both their victories coming in the UAE leg.
An 85-run fourth wicket partnership between Manoj Tiwary (41) and J.P. Duminy (45 not out) took Delhi close but it wasn’t enough as they were restricted to 158 for four in 20 overs.
Kevin Pietersen (44) got things rolling for the Daredevils but Murali Vijay (8) and Dinesh Karthik (7) failed as Delhi managed just 61 runs off the first 10 overs.
Tiwary and in particular Duminy played superbly to make a match off the contest but had a little too much to do as they fell 15 runs short.
A power packed half-century from Michael Hussey (56 off 33) helped Mumbai score 173 all out in 19.3 overs.
Lendl Simmons (35) and Hussey bludgeoned their way to a 87-run opening stand off just 48 balls.
Hussey was dismissed in the 12th over with the score on 120. Rohit Sharma (30) looked to started from where Hussey left off but the captain’s fall had catastrophic effect on the team as they lost eight wickets for just 33 runs-- giving Delhi a way back.
South African leggie Imran Tahir bagged three wickets while Jaydev Unadkat chipped in with two.Meanwhile, out of play-offs for the second consecutive year, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Chennai Super Kings today in their last IPL-7 league tie at the Chinnaswamy stadium, more for pride than to prove anything to its frenzied fans, who feel let down by their poor show in this tournament.
With 10 points from eight losses and only five wins in 13 league matches, the hosts have not much to show except hoping to sign off on a winning note playing against a formidable Super Kings, who have qualified for play-offs being runner-up in the points table with 16 points from eight wins and five losses.
Back-to-back defeats in away games against Kolkata Knight Riders by 30 runs and against Sunrisers Hyderabad sealed RCB’s fate, as its players were found wanting in finishing on a winning note. AGENCIES