Rajasthan Royals win their third straight game as Shane Warne's men beat Deccan Chargers by eight wickets.
Pathan destroys the Chargers
Rajasthan Royals won their third straight game as Shane Warne's men beat Deccan Chargers by eight wickets in the clash of the former champions at Ahmedabad last night. Set a modest target of 149 to win, Rajasthan triumphed in royal style with 4.2 overs to spare and jumped to third place on the table after six matches. The openers Michael Lumb and Naman Ojha put on 55 runs before the destructive Yusuf Pathan hit a 34-ball 73 to help his team home comfortably thus improving the net run rate as well.
Warne showed his aggressive intent by promoting Pathan up in chasing the modest total and the batsman responded with eight sixes, including one out of the park, to take his tally to 19 sixes, seven more than Robin Uthappa. Yusuf's entertaining knock made up for the disappointment of running out Lumb, who provided the positive start to the reply with 45 from 32 balls. "The first six overs were vital because the wicket can slow down towards the end. We are getting well as a group and we have been relishing the underdogs tag," Lumb said later.
"Yusuf hits the ball as clean as any can get. We had a poor start but things are falling in place for us." In contrast to Warne's brand of captaincy, the body language of his Australian compatriot and counterpart, Adam Gilchrist, only seemed to reflect his teammate Andrew Symonds' warning ahead of the match that quantity could be affecting quality. "People always want more, they want to get bigger and faster. What worries me is that players are going to play more in the same period of time," Symonds said. "I don't know if the quality of cricket will be as high because they will get tired. They will get injured and that's a concern."
The Chargers innings saw three run outs, including Symonds himself, where none of the three batsmen involved tried to even dive full length and preserve their wicket. The running between the wickets and decision-making clearly looked jaded, especially after the dismissal of Gilchrist in the first over itself. Only Rohit Sharma stood tall among the ruins as he celebrated what was a close call up to the Indian team for the upcoming World Twenty20 with a precocious knock of 49 from 35 balls.
Sharma got the nod over Manish Pandey, the highest scorer in domestic cricket, and Virat Kohli, both having done well so far for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, with his spin bowling working as an added advantage in his CV. With wickets falling regularly at the other end, he showed his class with the bat. Dropped on 31, he pulled Salabh Trivedi for a six and then rocked back on his toes for a classic cover drive on successive deliveries. He even pulled out a low full toss from Shaun Tait for a straight six. email@example.com
Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist c Pathan b Narwal 1 VVS Laxman c Pathan b Tait 10 Herschelle Gibbs st Ojha b Warne 25 Andrew Symonds run out (Jhunjhunwala) 22 Rohit Sharma c Lumb b Tait 49 T Suman b Tait 9 Y Venugopal Rao run out (Jhunjhunwala) 2 Chaminda Vaas run out (Dogra) 8 Rahul Sharma c Jhunjhunwala b Narwal 10 RP Singh not out 1 Pragyan Ojha not out 0 Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 7) 11 Total (for nine wickets in 20 overs) 148 Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-40, 3-58, 4-71, 5-99, 6-103, 7-128, 8-138, 9-147 Bowling: Sumit Narwal 4-0-35-2 Abhishek Jhunjhunwala 1-0-16-0 Siddharth Trivedi 3-0-35-0 Shaun Tait 4-0-22-3 Shane Warne 4-0-15-1 Yusuf Pathan 2-0-12-0 Adam Voges 2-0-9-0 Rajasthan Royals: Michael Lumb run out (Singh/Gilchrist) 45 Naman Ojha st Gilchrist b Ojha 14 Yusuf Pathan not out 73 Faiz Fazal not out 8 Extras (lb 4, w 7) 11 Total (for two wickets in 15.4 overs) 151 Fall of wickets: 1-55, 2-101 Bowling: Chaminda Vaas 3-0-29-0 RP Singh 2-0-22-0 RG Sharma 2-0-17-0 R Sharma 3.4-0-30-0 Pragyan Ojha 3-0-40-1 Andrew Symonds 2-0-9-0