Date: 10th April 2015, 8 pm
Venue: MCA Stadium, Pune
Toss: Kings XI Punjab, Bowling
Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 26 runs
MoM: James Faulkner
James Faulkner continued where he left off his World Cup campaign with a brilliant all-round display to kick-off a winning campaign for the Rajasthan Royals. With half the side back in the hut at 75, Faulkner had a 51-run revival stand with U19 sensation Deepak Hooda (30 off 15) before tearing apart fellow Australian Johnson.
The Royals were outstanding in the field. Sanju Samson affected two direct run-outs to send back Saha and Vijay. Tim Southee took a stunning catch to get rid of ‘Big-show’ Maxwell very early on, but his dual with Karun Nair to dismiss Bailey was a clear highlight of the evening. Faulkner stood out with the ball to take 3 wickets.
The all-round batting, bowling and fielding display meant that Steve Smith picked up a big win in his captaincy debut for the Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals: 162/7 (20) – James Faulkner 46 (33b, 2×4, 3×6), Steve Smith 33 (23b, 5×4), Anureet Singh 3/23 (4)
Kings XI Punjab: 136/8 (20) – Murli Vijay 37 (32b, 4×4, 1×6), George Bailey 24 (18b, 2×4, 1×6), James Faulkner 3/26 (4)