IPL 2013: Watson Smashes Royals To Victory Over Chennai
Rajasthan Royals 144-5 (Watson 70no) beat
Chennai Super Kings 141-4 by five wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Jaipur
Report by Chetan Narula
Rajasthan Royals finished their Indian Premier League 2013 home games unbeaten at Jaipur, getting the better of Chennai Super Kings by five wickets.
This win takes them to 20 points from 14 matches, just behind Chennai on net run-rate but virtually assuring them of a play-off spot.
For Chennai, this was another slip-up after their loss to Mumbai Indians but they are still top of the table with as many points from 14 games, with a marginally better run-rate.
Rajasthan won the toss and elected to field first, and the decision almost turned against them. Chennai made a super start with Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay firing on all cylinders. They put up 83 runs for the first wicket in just 69 balls.
After getting hold of the Orange Cap once again, Hussey departed in the 12th over, bowler by Stuart Binny (1-17). Hussey scored 40 runs off as many balls, with six fours, but Vijay did manage to reach his fifty. He scored 55 off 50 balls, also hitting six fours, before being run out in the 18th over.
Hussey's wicket caused a mini-collapse as Suresh Raina (1) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2) both failed to get going, causing a major flutter in the Chennai dugout.
It really slowed down the scoring and a 170-plus target at one stage eventually came to a halt at 141 for four in their allotted twenty overs. Kevon Cooper (2-32) was Rajasthan's best bowler, leading an economical attack.
Chasing a par score, Rajasthan top order was in trouble very early. Mohit Sharma (1-21) and Jason Holder (2-20) got rid of three batsmen quickly, with Ajinkya Rahane (9), James Faulkner (1) and Sanju Samson (0) failing to make a mark.
The score stood at 19 for three and Rahul Dravid was once again charged with a rescue act, although he could only take the chase up to 45 for four in the 10th over.
Then the complexion of the game changed as Shane Watson and Stuart Binny came together. They murdered the middle overs bowled by Chris Morris (1-36) and Dwayne Bravo (1-35), taking 81 runs off five overs to turn the match on its head.
Watson was at his destructive best, hitting six fours and six sixes, reaching his half-century in only 25 balls. Binny supported him ably with a quick-fire 41 runs off 23 balls, inclusive of two fours and three sixes.
This mad rush meant that Rajasthan, looking frail at the halfway mark in the innings, stood victorious at 144 for five with 2.5 overs to spare.
© Cricket World 2013
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