Rajasthan Royals came up trumps in a thrilling finish to a high-scoring game against the Deccan Chargers and went top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a five-wicket win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium yesterday. In an amazing chase, Royals reached a stiff 197-run target from a seemingly difficult situation scoring 74 runs from the last six overs. Australian Brad Hodge, led the assault hitting South African Dale Steyn for four fours in a row in the 17th over, leaving 11 to get off the last over.
Wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik — a last-minute replacement for the injured Shreevats Goswami — then hit Steyn for two more boundaries in the final over to see the Royals home with two balls to spare. Earlier, skipper Dravid set the tempo for the Royals’ chase with a quickfire 42 off 24 balls (7x4, 1x6) before he was dismissed by Daniel Christian. Man of the match Brad Hodge, who scored 48 off 21 balls, was all praise for Mumbai lad Ajinkya Rahane (44). “Rahane is batting very well at the top and provide us good platform. He is batting superbly and has hunger for runs. He reminds me of my younger days. His shots are majestic. To my eyes he can be a super talent,” Hodge said after the match.
Deccan Chargers: Sangakkara c Yagnik b Hodge 44, Dhawan c Hodge b Trivedi 52, Christian not out 29, Duminy not out 58; Extras (lb-2, w-11) 13; Total: (for two wkts in 20 overs) 196; FoW: 1-94 (Sangakkara, 10.4 overs), 2-108 (Dhawan, 13.1); Bowling: Pankaj Singh 3-0-37-0, Amit Singh 4-0-55-0, Botha 4-0-29-0, Trivedi 4-0-27-1, Hogg 4-0-33-0, Hodge 1-0-13-1.
Rajasthan Royals: Dravid b Christian 42, Rahane c Christian b A Mishra 44, Menaria c Duminy b A Mishra 22, Shah c Jhunjhunwala b A Mishra 12, Hodge not out 48, Botha c T Mishra b Rajan 14, Yagnik not out 9; Extras: (w-5, nb-1) 6; Total: (for five wkts in 19.4 overs) 197; FoW: 1-62 (Dravid, 5.5 overs), 2-110 (Menaria, 11.6), 3-121 (Rahane, 13.2), 4-135 (Shah, 15.2), 5-172 (Botha, 18.1); Bowling: Sharma 4-0-33-0, Steyn 3.4-0-44-0, Christian 4-0-43-1, Rajan 4-0-45-1, Mishra 4-0-32-3
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