Rajasthan Royals cruised to an eight-wicket win over Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad, garnering full points from their opening game of the new IPL season.
Their victory meant that the Chargers haven’t yet won a single match at their home ground in four seasons.
Chasing 138 to win, the Royals never looked hurried and collected runs with much calm and ease. New recruit, the mightily experienced Rahul Dravid, opened the innings with Amit Paunikar and the duo put on 29 runs without loss in five overs. The youngster then perished trying to push the pace of the innings. He scored 20 off 19 balls with four boundaries.
Dravid meanwhile was solid at the other end and made 28 runs off 35 balls. His strike rate was under one hundred yes, but he provided stability at the top, not allowing the Chargers to take early wickets and make a comeback into the match.
Most importantly he handled former Bangalore Royal Challengers team-mate Dale Steyn very well.
The South African spearhead bowled very well, giving away less than five runs in each of his four overs, and took both the wickets to fall, castling Dravid in the 13th over. But it was too late by then, as the Royals’ score read 83 for two. Johan Botha, who had come out to bat at number three, scored a chanceless 67 not out off 47 balls, including eight fours and one six.
Dravid had made 28 and with a 52-run partnership they pushed their team closer to a win. Ross Taylor then finished off the match on the penultimate ball of the 19th over. He made 21 runs off 14 balls, with one four and two sixes.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to field first. Shikhar Dhawan and Ishank Jaggi gave a quick start to the Chargers, putting up forty runs by the fifth over when the first wicket fell. Dhawan, playing for his third IPL team after Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians, hit two fours and a six in his 24 runs off 15 balls but went for one big shot too many and was caught in the deep. Siddharth Trivedi then struck a quick double blow to reduce the Chargers to 53 for three at nearly the end of the eighth over. New captain Kumar Sangakkara edged behind the wicket, caught for nought, his mind perhaps still at Mumbai.
Shane Warne then put himself into the attack and didn’t look at all rusted as compared to his last season with the Royals, removing opener Jaggi and Jean Paul Duminy in quick succession. By the 13th over, the Chargers were floundering at 77 for five.
It was only because of some quick runs towards the end from Daniel Christian and D Ravi Teja that they were able to put up a decent score on the board. The Aussie all-rounder scored 26 runs off 19 balls with two big hits to the fence, while Teja got 28 off 20 balls, hitting two fours and one six. Christian also hit one four.
Amit Singh finished with three wickets for 35 runs from his quota of overs, but Trivedi was the pick of the bowlers with three for 15 from his four overs.
© Cricket World 2011