Australia’s decorated all-rounder James Faulkner is a notable personality in the cricket world and is known for his aggressive batting in the middle order and his bowling at the death. Faulkner also experienced a decent run in the Indian Premier League from 2011 to 2017 as he entertained fans with his exploits with the bat and the ball.
One of the best knocks of Faulkner’s IPL career came in 2014 when he was plying his trade for the 2008-champion Rajasthan Royals. On May 11, 2014, Rajasthan Royals were up against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a high-scoring clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
The highly-anticipated clash commenced with home skipper Virat Kohli winning the toss and making the decision of putting the total on the board. The Bangalore outing succumbed to a torrid start as they lost their first three wickets quickly and were reeling at 40 -3 in 8.1 overs.
However, RCB had no qualms in losing their three wickets as AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh carried out carnage in the middle. The explosive duo took the Rajasthan bowlers to the cleaners as they hammered the ball all over the park.
AB smashed 58 runs off 32 deliveries while Yuvraj went berserk as he played a jaw-dropping knock of 83 runs in just 38 balls. The exploits by AB and Yuvraj resulted in RCB putting up a massive total of 190 on the scoreboard.
Batting second, Rajasthan got off to a decent start as the opening duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair collected 54 runs in seven overs. However, the dismissal of Rahane on the first ball of the eighth over initiated a collapse of RR’s batting line-up as within the next six overs they lost their five wickets.
Just like RCB, RR also got the backing of their middle-order - Steve Smith and Faulkner. Smith played a quickfire cameo of 48 runs off 21 balls. However, it was Faulkner who stole all the thunder. The 31-year-old hammered a 17-ball 41 to take RR home.
On the back of a 97-run partnership formed by Smith and Faulkner, RR secured a victory by five wickets.