Sunday 15 April 2012 

IPL 2012: Rahane Century Sends Royals To The Top

IPL 2012: Rahane Century Sends Royals To The Top
IPL 2012: Rahane Century Sends Royals To The Top
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Rajasthan Royals 195-2 (Rahane 103no) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 136 by 59 runs
Indian Premier League, Bangalore

Ajinkya Rahane's superlative hundred helped the Rajasthan Royals thump Royal Challengers by 59 runs at Bangalore in the latest match in the Indian Premier League.

It took the 2008 champions to the top of the table with six points, while the Challengers now languish in eighth place.

Rahul Dravid received a rousing ovation on his return to Bangalore as skipper and after winning the toss, he elected to bat first. With Rahane, he helped his side to a superlative start. The duo put up 62 runs for the first wicket, coming in good time at a-run-a-ball.

Dravid was out for 25 off 32 balls while Rahane accelerated having gotten his eye in. He was joined by Owais Shah, another in-form batsmen, and together they put the Royal Challengers to the sword.

It was a barrage of fours and sixes from both ends as 134 runs came in the last ten overs. They put on 121 runs for the second wicket in just 50 balls. Shah made 60 off only 26 balls, including five fours and five sixes.

But it was Rahane who stole the show all along, completing a task left unfinished earlier on. He got to his hundred this time around, the first of IPL 2012, and the highlight of it all was his strokeplay, all of them being proper cricket shots. He remained unbeaten on 103, off just 60 deliveries, with 12 fours and 5 sixes, thus regaining the Orange Cap.

Amidst the carnage, Zaheer Khan returned figures of 1 for 15 in his four overs as Rajasthan finished with 195 for two.

Despite such a flourishing innings, there was no surety of victory as Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle started in blistering fashion. They put 42 for the first wicket in 4.4 overs before both fell in the same over.

From there on, it was a constant procession for the Bangalore batsmen as they failed to keep up with the run-rate. Agarwal had top scored with 34 off 21 balls, with three fours and three sixes, while their last true hope, Virat Kohli was out for 22.

As many as six batsmen were out bowled, telling a tale about the Rajasthan bowlers’ precision. Siddharth Trivedi finished with four for 25 in his four overs as the hosts folded for 136 with one ball to spare.

© Cricket World 2012