IPL 2012: Watson Leads Rajasthan Royals To Commanding Win
Rajasthan Royals 126-3 (Watson 90no) beat
Pune Warriors 125-6 (Tait 3-13) by 7 wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Pune
The Rajasthan Royals cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Pune Warriors, Shane Watson leading them home with an unbeaten half-century.
The Australian all-rounder hit 90 in 51 balls as the 2008 champions passed Pune's score of 125 for six with 22 balls to spare.
His compatriot Shaun Tait had earlier taken three for 13 as Pune struggled with the bat and Rajasthan took full advantage of a side low on confidence.
This victory moved them up to fourth place, on 12 points, trailing only Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians.
Tait removed Sourav Ganguly (14) and Robin Uthappa (13) and Michael Clarke was trapped in front by Stuart Binny as the home side quickly found themselves in trouble.
Debutant Anustup Majumdar fought hard to revive the innings, hitting 30 in 20 balls before he was bowled by Johan Botha while the last two men to fall - Angelo Mathews and Mithun Manhas - made 11 apiece.
Steven Smith made 18 not out in 22 balls and Wayne Parnell was unbeaten on two but their score never looked likely to challenge the Royals.
And so it proved, although they lost Ajinkya Rahane early to a superb diving catch by Smith off Bhuvneshwar Kumar for nought and Rahul Dravid was caught by Clarke off Parnell for 14.
Watson, who struck ten fours and four sixes, then put on 56 with Ashok Menaria (18) for the third wicket to ensure there was no way back into the game for the hosts.
Menaria fell shortly before the end of the game when he was caught by Manhas off Clarke but Watson won the game with a powerful straight boundary.
© Cricket World 2012