The Rajasthan Royals were eliminated from the Indian Premier League last night as they slumped to a five-wicket defeat against the Deccan Chargers, the bottom side.
Only a win was going to be enough for Rajasthan to stay in contention for finishing in the top four places, but a below-par display with the bat wrecked their chances as they managed to only score 126 for eight from their 20 overs.
Deccan had looked on course for an easy win when they cruised to 63 without loss in reply with Akshath Reddy (42) and Shikhar Dhawan (26) both in good nick.
But the dismissal of both players led to a flurry of wickets, and Deccan, who have had a poor tournament, briefly looked in danger of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Jean-Paul Duminy (24) composed things though and ensured Deccan triumphed for only the third time this season.
Rahul Dravid, the Royals captain, said: "We are very disappointed in the dressing room."
Dravid had chosen to bat after winning the toss, and while he played a solid innings, hitting 39 off 36 balls, his teammates had less success, and he added: "It was a bat-first wicket, we just did not bat too well."
The innings looked in trouble at 54 for three, and the dismissal of Dravid effectively ended hopes of a sizeable score.
Owais Shah (28) and Ashok Menaria (20) put on a stand of 35 for the fifth wicket to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but neither was able to go on and get the big score that the Rajasthan innings so desperately needed.
Dale Steyn (two for 16) and Amit Mishra (two for 20) were the pick of the Deccan bowling.
Dhawan demonstrated the positive intent that had been often lacking from Deccan's performances with the bat this season as he hit a six and a four in the first over of Deccan's reply and despite their wobble, it was a deserved victory for Cameron White's side.
White said: "It was a good team effort to win it. We felt we bowled well and that was they key."
In today's action, Kings XI Punjab must beat the table topping Delhi Daredevils in their final game to have a chance of reaching the knockout stages, with a defeat sealing their elimination from proceedings.
The other game sees the Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Pune Warriors, with a victory for Kolkata guaranteeing them a top-two spot and two chances at reaching the final of the competition on Sunday May 27.
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