Ajinkya Rahane just missed out on recording the first century in this years IPL but his contribution was still enough to help the Rajasthan Royals cruise to a 31 run victory over the Kings XI Punjab.
The 23 year old opener smashed sixteen boundaries and a six during his 66 ball innings which saw him score 98 runs before he was bowled by James Faulkner (2-41) in the final over.
Despite missing out on a century, Rahane helped the Royals record an impressive total of 191-4 which proved too much for the Kings XI to chase down as they were restricted to a total of just 160-9.
Rahul Dravid (28) and Brad Hodge (21) offered support but the innings belonged to Rahane who stared with the bat to leave the Kings XI facing a tough run chase.
Their task was made even harder after Kevon Cooper (4-26) tore through the visitor’s top order to record figures of just 3-11 from two overs to leave Adam Gilchrist’s side 61-4 in the 8th over.
The 23 year old from Trinidad, who cost the Royals just $50,000, picked up three wickets in the space of eight deliveries to put the home side of top.
Mandeep Singh (34) offered some resistant’s but it wasn’t enough to stop the Kings XI suffering a heavy defeat after they went into the game full of confidence.