Rajasthan Royals Top IPL Table Following Second Win
Rajasthan Royals 152-4 (Botha 39no) beat
Delhi Daredevils 151-6 (Warner 51) by 6 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011, Jaipur
Johan Botha steered the Rajasthan Royals to the top of the early Indian Premier League 2011 table with an unbeaten 39 as the Royals made it two wins from two by beating the Delhi Daredevils by six wickets at home.
Botha blasted an unbeaten 67 in their opening win against the Deccan Chargers and the 2008 champions continued to impress, chasing down 152 with nine balls to spare after the Daredevils had improved on their first showing to reach 151 for six.
Truth be told, improvement on a dismal 95 all out against the Mumbai Indians was always likely although they stumbled in the early stages, dropping to 36 for four as the Royals got into their stride quickest.
Shaun Tait removed Virender Sehwag (4) and Aaron Finch (11) while a double breakthrough from Shane Warne, who removed Unmukt Chund for nought and Naman Ojha for two, put the Daredevils on the back foot.
David Warner led an excellent fightback with 54 in 44 balls including four fours and one six before ex-India international Yalaka Venugopal Rao hammered an excellent 60 in 40 deliveries to quieten the Rajasthan crowd and from a desperate position, the Daredevils dared to dream of a winning score.
Back came the Royals, Amit Singh dismissing Warner and Siddharth Trivedi accounting for Rao to ensure that their score was merely competitive rather than comprehensive.
Early wickets were thus required by the Daredevils and when Ashok Dinda bowled Amit Paunitkar for five, they were very much in the game but thereafter the Royals produced much-needed and strong partnerships.
Rahul Dravid made 38 in 31 balls, adding a swift 35 with Botha, whose promotion up the order appears so far to be another tactical masterstroke from Warne.
This foundation allowed Ashok Menaria (22 in 15 balls) and Ajinkya Rahane (18 in 17) to flourish, keeping the team in royal blue in a strong position but their respective dismissals - by Irfan Pathan and Morne Morkel - put the game back in the balance.
However, the Royals needn't have worried as striding to the crease at number six was Ross Taylor and the New Zealander swiftly ended the contest with an innings of 18 in ten balls that included the winning hit - a maximum - and one boundary, leaving Botha unbeaten on 39 in 32 balls at the other end.
© Cricket World 2011