Aaron Moores | cricket20
The Kings XI Punjab suffered a middle order collapse which consigned them to a 31 run defeat against the Rajasthan Royals after enjoying a positive reply chasing 184 for victory at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.
The home side got off to a positive start with the top order finally firing after starting this years tournament out form but it was the key wicket of Yuvraj Singh in the 10th over which started the batting collapse which allowed the Royals to claim a second consecutive victory.
Having been put into bat by Kumar Sangakkara the Royals got off to their best start of the tournament so far thanks to a 35 run partnership between Michael Lumb and Naman Ojha.
After suffering a number of poor starts the Royals looked a lot more confident after finally recording their first win in this year’s tournament at the weekend.
The Royals good start didn’t last long, the partnership came to an end at the end of the third over when Ojha (13) picked out Shalabh Srivastava at mid to give Sreesanth a wicket on his return to the starting line up.
Faiz Fazal and the dangerous Yusuf Pathan built a third wicket partnership of 51 after Lumb (41) was stumped by Sangakkara in the 7th over.
Pathan (28) smashed Srivastava for a huge six over long on to bring up the partnerships 50 before attempting the same shot only to be caught by Yuvraj Singh running it from long off to leave the Royals 111-3.
Voges survived an early run out chance to build another important partnership with Fazal which saw the pair add another 59 runs to enable to Royals to reach 183/5.
Ravi Bopara and Kumar Sangakkara got of to a great start building a 41 run partnership from only 24 balls before Sangakkara (29) was caught by Faiz Fazal to give Shaun Tait the breakthrough.
Mavinder Bisla came in at number three after being moved down the order and enjoyed a cameo innings of 35 before he was caught by Michael Lumb to leave the Kings XI 85-2.
With the home side well placed for a second consecutive victory Bopara and Yuvraj built the foundation of a match winner innings before Yuvraj (15) throw his wicket away at the end of the 10th over.
Two ball after being dropped by Lumb at deep square Yuvraj failed to read a slower ball from Siddharth Trivedi and skied an easy catch to Fazal at mid off leaving the home side 107-3.
Yuvraj’s dismissal signalled a dramatic middle order collapse which saw the Kings XI lose 4 wickets in the space of 4 overs to leave them struggerling as the Royals increased the pressure.
Bopara (25), Irfan Pathan (1), Mohammad Kaif (8) and Pitush Chawla (8) were all dismissed as the Kings XI throw away a good start by their top order to crumble to 136-7.
Mahela Jayawardene (23) offered some resistant but caught in the penultimate over the Royals could start to celebrate.