Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Marsh have proved super-over heroes as the Kings XI Punjab stole a nine-run victory from a Shane Watson-inspired Rajasthan Royals in a match dominated by Australia’s Test stars.
Marsh, having already hit an elegant half century, belted three super-over boundaries to almost single-handedly set the Royals a target of 16.
Up stepped Johnson, who cleaned up Watson’s off stump with the first ball of the Royals’ super over to all but extinguish their hopes.
Australian allrounder James Faulkner, one of six current or fringe Australian Test players in the match, was then run out for a duck, consigning the Royals to a nine-run super-over defeat – their first of the tournament.
The Royals had appeared on target for a sixth straight victory after posting 6-191, in which skipper Watson plundered 45 from 35 and put on an impressive 95 for the first wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (74 off 54).
Watson had endured a slow start, but after taking 21 balls for his first 11 runs he required just 12 for his next 34 – taking a particular liking to the off-spin of Shivam Sharma, who he carted for three fours and a six in one devastating over.
Watson’s top-of-the-order fireworks were not carried on by his Australian Royals teammates, with Steve Smith recording a golden duck and Faulkner dismissed for one – both caught by fellow Australian Glenn Maxwell.
The target appeared even more imposing for the Kings XI as wickets fell at regular intervals, despite a starring knock from Marsh, who was recalled to the Kings XI for injured skipper George Bailey and smashed three sixes in his 40-ball 65.
However Johnson, who had bowling figures of 1-33, helped force the match into a super over with a late cameo to support a whirlwind 30-ball 50 from South Africa’s David Miller, which included five sixes.
Faulkner, lauded for his ability to close out games with bat and ball, conceded 13 runs off the final over, including a four to Axar Patel from the final delivery, to leave scores tied – leading to an almost all-Australian super over, in which Johnson and Marsh stood tallest.