Faulkner sets up a great win for Royals

2014-05-12 00:00

A STUNNING 17-ball 41 from James Faulkner catapulted the Rajasthan Royals to a remarkable five-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League encounter at the M Chinna­swamy Stadium in Bangalore yesterday.

The all-rounder cracked three sixes and three fours to help his side chase down a tough 191-victory target with seven balls to spare, sharing in an unbroken 85-run stand with fellow Australian Steve Smith (48 off 21).

Karun Nair had set up the start of the chase with 56 off 39 after Yuvraj Singh (83 from 38) and AB de Villiers (58 off 32) had bolstered the home side to 190 for five with their 132-run partnership.

India star Yuvraj also claimed the remarkable figures of four for 35, but still ended on the losing side.

Bangalore had made a troubled start after winning the toss and batting when they reached 40 for three in the ninth over as Virat Kohli (four), Chris Gayle (19) and Vijay Zol (16) struggled to find any rhythm.

However, De Villiers and Yuvraj scored at a rate of 12,18 during their 10.5 overs together.

Yuvraj, whose innings included seven sixes and seven fours and was one of the stand-out performances of the season to date, went to his half century in only 24 balls.

De Villiers, who watched in awe as one of his sixes struck the roof of the stands as it missiled over cow corner, struck two more maximums in the final over to get to his own 50 in 30 balls.

He eventually fell to Faulkner after plundering five sixes, but the hosts still managed to post their highest total of the season.

Rajasthan made a good start to the response with Ajinkya Rahane (24) and Nair putting on 54 for the first wicket in a little under seven overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal finally inflicted a breakthrough at the start of the eighth over — Rahane edging to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel — as three wickets fell in 12 balls.

Enter Faulkner and the Australian took charge of the chase from there, and even though there were still 65 needed from the last 24 balls, the Royals only needed 17 of those to claim a sensational win.

The last three overs went 21-23-21 and the Smith-Faulkner partnership came at an astounding run rate at 15,93 per over.

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