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Warne spins Rajasthan to incredible win over Deccan

Apr 5 2010

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Shane Warne produced a virtuoso bowling performance to lead his side to a nail-biting two run win over reigning IPL champions Deccan Chargers in Nagpur. Warne returned his best T20 figures (4-21) and Siddharth Trivedi took two wickets in a dramatic final over as the Royals successfully defended their score of 159.

Shane Watson top scored with a typically muscular 58 but received precious little support from his team mates with only Faiz Fazal making any impression with 36. For Deccan, Rohit Sharma’s valiant 73 was not enough as Rajasthan prevailed amidst unbearable tension. The result maintains Warne’s side’s record of never having lost an IPL match when scoring 150 or more in the first innings.

Michael Lumb and Naman Ojha got the innings off to a reasonable start, reaching 16 without loss after two overs. But the third over was a poor one for the Royals as RP Singh dismissed both openers to leave the visitors 22 for 2.

Watson joined Fazal at the crease and picked up from where he left off against Chennai by smearing his third ball over the ropes. The Queenslander was then dropped by his Aussie team mate Ryan Harris at deep midwicket; at the culmination of the powerplay Rajasthan found themselves 48 for 2.

The Royals’ duo ran well between the wickets, a great relief for Warne as Rajasthan had suffered more run outs than any other team in IPL. At the halfway stage Rajasthan had consolidated on 82 for 2. The 11th over was an eventful one as Fazal struck Pragyan Ojha for two fours but then holed out for a well made 36.

This led to a potentially mouth watering partnership between Watson and Yusuf Pathan. Unfortunately for Rajasthan, and all neutrals, Pathan’s weakness against the short ball was exposed by Harris as he was caught at point for five. This left the Royals 107 for 4 after 13 overs.

Watson smashed Ojha down the ground and went through to his second consecutive 50 in IPL 3, this one off just 29 balls.

Watson hits a 6 for Queensland
Watson top scored in just his second IPL match this season

Deccan went into the final five overs aware that they had been the most profligate team in this year’s competition, going at over 12.4 runs per over in this period. They started it well when Harmeet Singh dismissed Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Abhishek Raut for 11 and 0 respectively, the score now 130 for 6.

Rajasthan’s hopes rested on Watson but he fell in the next over to RP Singh for 58 and Deccan were righting their previous wrongs in the final overs. Warne was then run out for 1 as his team subsided to 159 all out with one delivery remaining leaving Deccan firm favourites to claim victory at the break.

Pathan bowled a frugal first over which yielded just two, but his good work was undone by Watson who conceded four wides, two fours and a six from his first to leave Deccan 22 without loss.

Debutant Aditya Dole dismissed VVS Laxman for six but Adam Gilchrist then got stuck into him, smashing two monstrous sixes in a row to lead his side to 47 for 1. Dole gained his revenge when a short ball did for the Australian and Rajasthan were back in the game.

Morne Morkel bowled the last over of the powerplay and although it went for just four, Deccan had charged to 50 quicker than any other team against Rajasthan this season.

Rohit Sharma and Andrew Symonds both found the boundary to guide the hosts 86 for 2 after 10 overs and on course for a regulation win. Trivedi then breathed new life into the contest by removing Symonds for 15 but Sharma remained unfazed and raised the 100 with a maximum off Warne.

Anirudh Singh joined forces with Sharma and the duo quickly put on 26 until Singh was undone by a Warne slider and with six overs remaining the Chargers were 113 for 4 with Sharma playing beautifully on 40.

The close contest was bringing out the best in Warne and when he dismissed Dwayne Smith for four the game was turning back towards the Royals with Deccan needing 38 off the last four overs. Sharma wrested some of the momentum back with three fours in a row off Watson and in the process went to 50 and 1,000 runs in IPL - only the fourth batsman to do so.

Warne rolled back the years to dismiss Azhar Bilakhia and Harris with deliciously flighted deliveries leaving Deccan on 141 for 7 with two overs left.

The prodigious Sharma accepted the responsibility and trashed Morkel down the ground for six to leave Deccan needing just six from the final over. The tension was palpable with Trivedi entrusted with the final six balls; he claimed the wicket of RP Singh with the third ball which left four needed from three.

Harmeet was then run out and Sharma perished going for the decisive boundary as the double Rs sealed an incredible two run win.

Next game: 7th April 11.30 BST Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur


Elsewhere in the IPL Kevin Pietersen was powerless to prevent the Royal Challengers Bangalore from succumbing to a 37 run defeat to the Delhi Daredevils.

Instead it was KP’s England colleague Paul Collingwood who grabbed the headlines with brutal 75 off 46 deliveries which included no less than seven maximums. This boosted in form Delhi to an imposing 184 for 5 from their 20 overs.

Bangalore never looked like challenging that total as they subsided to 147 for 9 with Pietersen making 16 before being yorked by Pradeep Sangwan.

Neil Evans

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