x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ross Taylor powers table-topping Rajasthan Royals to crush Pune Warriors

The New Zealander scores an unbeaten 47 to earn Rajasthan a six-wicket victory against Pune in the Indian Premier League.

Ross Taylor, the Rajasthan Royals batsman, plays a pull shot in his 35-ball 47 which earnt his side victory against Pune Warriors.
Ross Taylor, the Rajasthan Royals batsman, plays a pull shot in his 35-ball 47 which earnt his side victory against Pune Warriors.

Ross Taylor hit a crucial 47 not out to steer Rajasthan Royals to a thrilling six-wicket win over Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The New Zealander cracked two sixes and four boundaries in his 35-ball innings as Shane Warne's Rajasthan achieved a 144-run target with three balls to spare for their fifth victory in nine matches of the fourth staging of the IPL.

Rajasthan, who now top the 10-team league table with 11 points, were struggling at 92 for four before Taylor and Ajinkya Rahane (15 not out) guided their team home with an unbeaten 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Rahul Sharma, the leg-spinner, put Rajasthan under pressure when he took three of the first four wickets, including those of Rahul Dravid (18) and the South African Johan Botha (12).

But Taylor, dropped on 31 by Nathan McCullum, his compatriot, in the deep, shattered Pune's hopes with his big-hitting.

Pune were earlier comfortably placed at 66 for one after eight overs following impressive innings from Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey before losing their way. Uthappa top-scored with a 21-ball 35 and Pandey made 30 off 31 balls.

Uthappa, who hit Warne for four boundaries but also survived three confident leg-before appeals, eventually fell to the same bowler when he was caught by wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik while attempting a reverse-sweep.

Pune's chances of posting a competitive total after being put in to bat receded when they lost two wickets in the 13th over.

Yuvraj Singh, the captain, (seven) was run out backing up while Pandey was caught at deep midwicket by Taylor off the seamer Siddharth Trivedi, who emerged the most successful bowler with two for 28.