Pune: At the start of the tournament Ajinkya Rahane with his fearless batting and attractive strokes was leading Rajasthan Royals to victory.
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The tournament progressed and a certain all-rounder from Down Under going by the name Shane Watson joined Rajasthan Royals. The value this man brings with him can be aptly deciphered from his performance against Pune Warriors on Tuesday.
Even, Rahul Dravid has said it time and again that when this man joins the side, it looks a completely different unit.
Chasing a modest target of 126 runs set by the home team Pune Warriors, Shane Watson hit four sixes and 10 boundaries to score 90*, leading his side to a comfortable win.
Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first. The team opened with Michael Clarke and Sourav Ganguly, both experienced but slower as compared to the standard of T20 cricket.
Right from ball one, Sourav Ganguly led Pune, never looked in a position of dictating terms against their opposition. Nothing went their way during the match. Their batsman struggled in search for boundaries. They hit five fours and two sixes in their innings-half of what Watson managed on his own.
As expected, the start was slow and the pair struggled to score some quick runs. Shaun Tait, who has been wayward with his line, bowled a bouncer and Ganguly had no clue whether to duck or pull. The result was a top edge that went to deep square leg where Ankeet Chavan completed a simple catch.
His partner, Michael Clarke followed him in the next over after being trapped in front of the wickets by Stuart Binny. Together the openers shared 30 runs in 36 deliveries between them.
Anustup Majumdar, who was making his debut, hit two sixes to break the shackles but he too perished after getting bowled in Botha’s over. He made 30(20).
Shaun Tait reined in his pace and bowled superbly giving away just 13 runs in his 4 overs while picking four wickets.
In the end, Steven Smith tried hard to score boundaries but Rajasthan bowling and fielding proved too good for him and his team.
Rajasthan lost the wicket of their in-form batsman Ajinkya Rahane early in the innings, blame it on Steven Smith who took a superb diving catch.
In came Shane Watson taking control of the things right from the word go. He flayed Kartik’s first over for 16 runs including two sixes over long-on and a four towards third man. He kept on finding the boundaries regularly and completely dominated the bowling.
He fittingly hit the winning boundary as he raced to 90 (51) as Rajasthan won the game with four overs and seven wickets in hand.
First Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 15:24