x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Botha puts Mumbai in a spin

The South African stars with both bat and ball to upset the league leaders.

JAIPUR // Johan Botha showed there is more than one wily spinner who can be dangerous with the bat in the ranks of the Rajasthan Royals after he inspired his side to their 11th victory in 14 home Indian Premier League matches.

Shane Warne, the Royals captain and master leg-spinner, has always fancied himself as something of an all-rounder but he was upstaged by Botha yesterday. The South African struck a fluent 44 after earlier taking three Mumbai Indians wickets at the cost of just six runs.

"I'm really happy with my performance and I'm very happy with the win, against a good team," Botha said.

"It's nice to bat on good wickets against the new ball. We just wanted to start well and that's what we did. We picked up two-three wickets in the first six overs and that's always key."

Botha was introduced as fourth change by Warne and was understandably fearing the worst with the big-hitting Andrew Symonds and Kieron Pollard at the crease.

"I was a little nervous, bowling so late, but it came good for me," he said. While batting I tried not to over hit the ball, play as straight as possible. It was stopping and the odd one was skidding low, if they bowled straight it was difficult to score."

Added Warne: "Johan's definitely grabbed his opportunity ... he's experienced and is a smart cricketer."

Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai captain, was out for just seven and he admitted his team found the wicket at the Mansing Stadium in Jaipur difficult to bat on.

"It was a tough pitch, different to what we played on in Mumbai," Tendulkar said. "It was two-paced, the ball kept low. But I don't want to take the credit away from Rajasthan, who bowled and fielded well. We lost early wickets and were not able to rotate strike. 130 would have been a challenging total. We were not able to accelerate in the middle overs."

Rajasthan paced their chase well and Ashok Menaria scored the five runs needed with 11 balls remaining.

* Compiled by The National staff with agency