Tassie's Faulkner rescues Royals

TASMANIAN James Faulkner has produced another trademark blistering batting rescue mission in the Indian Premier League.

The Launceston-born all-rounder evoked memories of his heroics in the national team, prompting Cricket Australia to report: ``Mohali, Brisbane, Bangalore. James Faulkner has done it again.''

Faulkner saved the Rajasthan Royals from certain defeat to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, combining with fellow Australian Steve Smith to put on 85 runs in 32 balls and chase down 190 with seven balls to spare.

``When you are in a position we were in, you have nothing to lose. It's all or nothing,'' Faulkner said after hitting 41 from 17 balls with three sixes and three fours.

``Chasing a total down is always a nice feeling, but chasing 190 from that position is a very special feeling for the team.''

Bangalore's Aussie spearhead Mitchell Starc bore the brunt of his compatriots' onslaught leaving the Royals needing 21 from the final two overs. 

``Faulkner made it look simple,'' CA reported.

He pulled Varun Aaron for six over midwicket, clipped a wide yorker to the cover boundary then scooped a waist-high full-toss over the square leg fence to seal the match before embracing Smith as their teammates rushed to congratulate them.

``I started a bit slowly and then thought I'll take on the medium pacers,'' Faulkner said. 

``It worked for me, but I thought the 18th over where Steven took on Ashok Dinda [for 22 runs] was when the game swung back in our favour. The rest is history.''

Rajastan skipper Shane Watson was not surprised his Australian teammates had pulled off the win.

``Steve Smith and James Faulkner were incredible,'' Watson said.

Fellow Aussie David Warner tweeted: ``Unbelievable batting by the Aussie boys @stevesmith49 @FaulknerC25 very hard ground to defend if batters are set.''

Faulkner's batting helped erase a tough night with the ball, where he bore the brunt of Yuvraj Singh and A.B. dethVilliers to finish with 1-42 from his four overs.

``This is not one of my favourite grounds in the world to bowl at,'' he said.

Faulkner joins fellow Launceston Church Grammar product George Bailey in the IPL's highest innings strike-rate table, registering 241.17 in fifth place behind Bailey's benchmark 307.69 for his 40 off 13 balls for Kings XI Punjab against his old team Chennai in Cuttack last Thursday.


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