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Friday, May 8, 2009

Rajasthan Royals strolls to victory

Centurion: Paceman Amit Singh and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja’s sensational bowling set the tone as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets for its third straight win in the Indian Premier League here on Thursday.

Chasing a modest total of 106 runs, the defending champion romped home with five overs to spare after Naman Ojha (52) struck a second successive unbeaten fifty.

Amit and Jadeja shared seven wickets between them to wreck Royal Challengers after Royals captain Shane Warne decided to bowl.

Impressive bowling

Amit, who made a sensational IPL debut against Kings XI Punjab with figures of three for 9, improved to four for 19 today. Jadeja was equally devastating with figures of three for 15.

Chasing the target, Royals’s scoring was not as brisk after last-match hero Graeme Smith (20) was dismissed early on but the team didn’t have to toil too hard either.

Ojha, who starred with a blazing 68-run knock in the last match against Kings XI Punjab, once again did well for a 38-ball knock that comprised three fours and an equal number of sixes.

Comfortably placed at 62 for two before the strategy break, Yusuf Pathan and Ojha guided the team to victory, sharing a 43-run stand.

Crucial toss

Royal Challengers captain Anil Kumble reckoned winning the toss would have been an advantage but felt it was actually lack of partnerships which did his team in.

“It would have been nice to win the toss and bowl first,” Kumble said after the match. “We lost too many wickets and didn’t have the partnerships going,” the former India skipper rued.

The defeat snapped Royal Challengers’ three-match winning streak but Kumble hoped it would pick up the pieces. “The tournament is not over yet. Hopefully we will come back with a better performance,” he said.

Finding momentum

His Royals counterpart Shane Warne said his team was starting to get the momentum and hoped to carry on in the same vein.

“We have executed our plans well. We are starting to get the momentum,” said the leg-spin legend. Warne praised the IPL for giving youngsters a chance to shine. He conceded that his team had had a slow start but was happy it was picking up.

Amit, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match, said the wicket was good for pace bowling. “It was a nice track to bowl on. The pace and bounce was good,” said the 27-year-old. — PTI

SCOREBOARD

Royal Challengers Bangalore: J. Kallis c Niraj b Munaf 10 (14b, 1x6), W. Jaffer c Carseldine b Singh 8 (9b, 1x4), R. Uthappa lbw b Jadeja 17 (20b, 3x4), R. Dravid c Ojha b Carseldine 0 (2b), V. Kohli c Morkel b Jadeja 15 (22b, 1x4), M. Boucher b Jadeja 6 (8b), R. van der Merwe b Amit 15 (16b, 1x4), D. du Preez c Niraj b Amit 10 (13b), Praveen (run out) 7 (4b, 1x6), R. Vinay Kumar b Amit 12 (13b, 1x6), A. Kumble (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (w-4, nb-1): 5. Total (in 20 overs): 105.

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-22, 3-29, 4-40, 5-52, 6-72, 7-85, 8-92, 9-103.

Rajasthan Royals bowling: Amit 4-0-19-4, Morkel 4-0-20-0, Munaf 2-0-16-1, Carseldine 1-0-6-1, Warne 4-0-23-0, Jadeja 4-0-15-3, Raut 1-0-6-0.

Rajasthan Royals: G. Smith b Kallis 20 (22b, 4x4), N. Ojha (not out) 52 (38b, 3x4, 3x6), L. Carseldine (run out) 9 (8b, 1x4), Yusuf c Jaffer b du Preez 22 (19b, 2x4), R. Jadeja (not out) 1 (3b); Extras (w-3): 3. Total (for three wkts in 15 overs): 107.

Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-48, 3-91.

Royal Challengers bowling: Praveen 4-0-31-0, Kallis 4-0-20-1, du Preez 3-0-24-1, Kumble 2-0-12-0, van der Merwe 1-0-11-0, Vinay 1-0-9-0.

Source: THE HINDU

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