Ahmedabad: Yusuf Pathan sent the ball into the orbit time and again, hitting a 23-ball fifty, his sixth in IPL III, to set the match in the home team’s favour. In the end, his pyrotechnics earned Rajasthan Royals an eight wicket victory over Deccan Chargers.
With the win, Shane Warne led outfit is back in the top four teams of the tournament.
Royals had started their run-chase with the opening pair of Michael Lumb (45) and Naman Ojha trying to work out RP Singh and Rohit Sharma. The duo didn’t disappoint, racing away to the first fifty in no time at all, courtesy a 20-run over off RP Singh’s bowling.
Ojha was however, claimed by Pragyan at a score of fourteen runs. It did not come as a breather though for the Chargers, as the danger-man Yusuf Pathan came out to the pitch. Spelling fireworks from the word go, the burly hitter got to his job.
Deccan Chargers had posted a modest 149-run target for Shane Warne’s men to chase at a jam packed Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium. Rohit Sharma’s 49-run cameo had ensured that they posted a somewhat defendable total on the board.
This was because Hyderabad lost six top order batsmen as they went past the 100-run mark and looked edgy while Rajasthan bowlers dried up the boundaries.
Batting first after winning the toss, Hyderabad were off to a forgettable start, losing their skipper Gilchrist in the very first over.
Scripts did not took a dramatic turn-around from there-on as Rajasthan Royals kept chipping in with regular wickets as Deccan plane failed to get the right speed.
VVS Laxman (10), Andrew Symonds (22) and Herschelle Gibbs (25) got starts but failed to capitalize on it. Symonds in particular was unluckiest off the lot as he ran for a suicidal run on Rohit Sharma’s call as a flat throw from crease caught him miles away from the stumps.
Skipper Shane Warne has indeed inspired the outfit and sent a strong warning to all other teams saying, "We sent a message to the other teams today that the Rajasthan Royals are back playing some good cricket. We did everything right today. We have had some good chats and pep talks that has helped. Munaf could not play today but I hope he will be back soon. We expect the senior Indian players to do well. We have only lost 1 game in 2 IPL`s at home and we look to keep the record intact."
With the final four births still open for a re-shuffle, tomorrow`s game between bottom ranked Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab will be a one to stay tuned-to.