Rajasthan Royals 111-2 (Watson 49) beat
Kochi Tuskers Kerala 109 (Warne 3-16) by 8 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011
The Rajasthan Royals finally broke their long run of losses with a compelling eight-wicket IPL 2011 win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala at Jaipur.
It was their first win in five games and raised them to second in the table but they have played more matches than any other team. Kochi meanwhile have now won three and lost three out of their six games.
It was a low and slow pitch at the Sawai Man Singh stadium and Rajasthan seemingly wanted to make use of their spin prowess. Winning the toss, Shane Warne elected to field first and Kochi’s stroke-making batsmen struggled to come to terms with the track.
They made a decent start as 22 runs came in the first three overs. But VVS Laxman was run out and then Brad Hodge was bowled by Warne. Their main batting hope, Mahela Jayawardene’s dismissal for just 13 runs applied brakes on them.
Rajasthan got the spinners into attack early and together Warne, Johan Botha and Siddharth Trivedi strangled their scoring rate.
By the 16th over, the score read 90 for four as Ravindra Jadeja was out for 22 runs off 23 balls. He was only the third batsman to reach double figures. Parthiv Patel was their highest scorer for the day and his 32 runs came in very handy in reaching the lightweight target they put up. Patel stayed at the wicket for 34 deliveries scoring only two boundaries and as a whole it was indicative of how tough it was to bat on this surface.
But Rajasthan didn’t have any such problems as they obviously had faith in their batting order to chase down 110 easily. They opened with Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid, and the duo being the awesome players of spin that they are, decimated any hopes Kochi had of making a comeback in the game.
They put up 71 runs for the first wicket and therein their fifty partnership came up in the ninth over. Dravid was eventually run out for 44 off 37 balls with four fours and one six.
Watson was even unluckier, bowled for 49 by Ravindra Jadeja but not before he had inflicted some damage with four fours and two sixes. He batted for 40 balls.
In all, the two made sure Kochi will not be causing any upsets as Rajasthan completed the formalities in 14.1 overs.
© Cricket World 2011