Rajasthan Royals 170-4 (Rahane 61) beat
Pune Warriors 125-9 by 45 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Jaipur
Rajasthan Royals kept themselves in contention for an Indian Premier League 2012 play-off spot with a 45-run win over Pune Warriors at Jaipur.
They are now sixth with 14 points, two away from fourth-placed Chennai Super Kings.
Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bat first. They were given a quick start by skipper Rahul Dravid who scored 21 of the 29 runs he shared with opening partner Ajinkya Rahane. He was out in the fifth over and Shane Watson came out to join Rahane.
Together they put up 94 runs for the second wicket, their runs coming in exactly 60 balls. Both batsmen have been in the best of forms and they continued their good work, adding to the tally of half-centuries scored in this IPL.
Rahane top scored with 61 off 47 balls, with seven fours, and Watson made 58 off 31 balls, including six fours and four sixes. Watson being the aggressor was the first to go, in the 15th over.
It brought Brad Hodge to the crease and he added another 33 runs with Rahane. Hodge made only 14 runs and was out in the 19th over, while Rahane was fourth out in the last over. Rajasthan finished with 170 for four while Ashish Nehra was the best bowler for Pune, picking up three for 23 in his four overs.
Pune Warriors got off to the worst start possible. Rahul Dravid deployed off-spinner Ajit Chandila and he came up trumps, taking his first ever hat-trick in the IPL and the first of the season. He scalped Jesse Ryder (1) and Sourav Ganguly (2) off the fifth and sixth ball of the first over, and then Robin Uthappa (6) off the first ball of the third over to achieve his feat.
He then picked a fourth wicket in his third over, fifth overall, to end up with figures of four for 13 from his spell.
There was to be no coming back for Pune even though Callum Ferguson and Steve Smith tried their best. They added 34 runs for the fifth wicket. Ferguson made 23 runs off 26 balls, with two fours, while Smith was the highest individual scorer of the innings.
He scored 37 runs off 31 balls, with five fours. Angelo Mathews was the other batsman to get into double figures, with 23 off 19 balls, before Shane Watson (two for 19) and Johan Botha (two for 25) cleaned up their batting.
© Cricket World 2012