It has been a roller coaster ride for the Rajasthan Royals. After having suffered hat trick of losses in the opening games they have come back strongly to make it 3 wins in a row. Tonight they thrashed the defending champions Deccan Chargers by 8 wickets and also replaced them in points table (3rd). Shane Warne surprised everyone in the first season with his leadership skills and today we could see just why he is rated as one of the better captains if not the best in the tournament. He was brilliant with his choice of bowlers and his men responded superbly in the field by restricting Chargers to a modest 148. Then Pathan took the game away from the chargers as he has always done. His 34 ball 73 knock earned him 4th man of the match award in 5 games that Royals have played the chargers.
Rajasthan Royals Innings
Chasing a moderate score of 149, the royals got off to a flier with Lumb dealing in boundaries. He got 2 of Vaas first over and then RP was smashed for 4 consecutive boundaries. But he had his share of luck. In the very first over Vaas got him to edge one only to see the ball fall short of Laxman in the first slip. In the next over he edged one perfectly between Gilchrist and second slip. The very next ball Gibbs failed to hold on to a catch at backward point.Lumb lived dangerously but that didn’t matter since he was getting the runs at a quick pace Naman Ojha was watching all the action from the other end and he too got into the act when he smashed Rohit for a maximum. However he was too ambitious going down the wicket to Ojha and was stumped. Yusuf announced his arrival with a 6 over long off. The Royals were sitting pretty at 84/1 when the first strategic time out was taken. The timeout didn’t affect Yusuf as he continued the onslaught with a couple of boundaries and a six in Ojha’s second over. Against the run of play Deccan got lucky when misunderstanding between Yusuf and Lumb sent back Lumb who was 5 runs short of his maiden half century in IPL. If Lumb’s innings was full of boundaries Pathan’s was not going to settle for anything less than maximum. Given the power of the man even mis-hits cleared the ropes easily. The royals cruised to a win with 26 balls to spare thanks to whirlwind innings from pathan. He smashed 8 sixes in his 34 ball 73. PHOTOS
Deccan Chargers Innings
Gilchrist won the toss and decided to bat. Warne as always promised some surprises but for a change they worked perfectly for his team today. Having played for many years with Gilchrist, Warne knew that it would be stupid of him to start with Tait but instead he introduced Sumit Narwal who induced a mis-hit from Gilly. Jhunjhunwala was the second surprise when he got the nod from the captain ahead of pathan but this time the plan backfired as Gibbs smashes him for 2 sixes straight down the ground but who knew that the bowler and the captain would be making amends in coming overs. Shane Warne has not looked in any sort of form but today he was terrific. He choked the run flow and got Herschelle Gibbs stumped. Symonds looked to be on top but confusion was the order of the day for the Chargers and Symonds was the first man to be runout. Tait then bowled the delivery of the season. Suman was beaten for pace and the ball crashed into the stumps. The chargers had lost half their side for 99 in 75 balls. Jhunjhunwala made it worse when he got a direct hit to send back Venugopal rao. However Rohit Sharma ensured that runs were coming from one end. He made 49 of 35 balls before Tait got him. Tait was the most successful bowler for the royals with 3 for 22 in 4. On a pitch which was good for batting Deccan Chargers could only manage 148 which is their lowest total this season. PHOTOS
Player of the Match: Yusuf Pathan