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IPL desk in Mumbai 17 April 2012 - 08:03pm IST

Report: Match 20 – RR v DC

Heroic Hodge scripts Royals’ comeback win against Chargers

A brilliant batting performance from the Rajasthan Royals ensured that they continued their unbeaten run at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Brad Hodge scored 48* to see the Royals home along with Dishant Yagnik who hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.

Chasing 196, the Royals began their innings with intent and execution. Openers Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane took a real likening to the visitors’ bowling attack. The Royals duo took advantage of every opportunity provided by the Chargers. Dravid looked in inspired form as he pulled and cut his way to a well-made 42 off 24 balls. Daniel Christian was clearly struggling to cope with Dravid’s aggression but somehow managed to dismiss the veteran with a misdirected slower delivery.

Then, the onus was on Rahane to pick up where his skipper left off. Ashok Menaria (22) was the new man at the crease, and he helped the Royals settle into a nice rhythm. But the left-hander perished while looking to up the ante. Meanwhile, the Chargers were pinning their hopes on star spinner Amit Mishra and the tweaker responded by sending Rahane (44 off 31 balls) back to the dugout.

At 121 for three, the Royals required Owais Shah to stay there till the end. But the Englishman rode his luck on his way to 12. He eventually holed out at midwicket to give Mishra his third wicket. Brad Hodge took on the mantle to push the Royals across the line, and the Aussie stuck around till the very end. With eleven required off the last over, the Royals got home with two balls to spare. Yagnik (9) smashed two boundaries off Dale Steyn, in the final over, to register a remarkable five-wicket win.

Earlier, Chargers’ captain Kumar Sangakkara didn’t hesitate in electing to bat first after winning the toss. His decision paid immediate dividends with the skipper and Shikhar Dhawan assuming total control of their innings right from the get-go. The left-handed duo looked confident as they tackled the Royals’ bowlers with the utmost ease. The home side’s frontline bowlers were proving to be ineffective, and it took a part-timer to break DC’s dominance. While Brad Hodge got smacked for a boundary and a six off his first two deliveries by Sangakkara (44), he managed to dismiss the Sri Lankan off his third delivery to end the 94-run opening partnership.

Dhawan (52) followed suit in the 14th over, as he timed a Siddharth Trivedi delivery well only to find the fielder at deep square leg. The Royals looked like staging a comeback, but Daniel Christian and JP Duminy carried forth the DC openers’ good work. They smashed the home side’s bowlers all over the ground. 28-year-old Duminy looked like a man on a mission as he unleashed five majestic sixes during his impressive knock of 58*. Christian (29) also played his part to help the Chargers to reach 196/2 in 20 overs.

Scorecard


Man-of-the-Match: Brad Hodge, for seeing the Rajasthan Royals home by scoring 48* in just 21 balls

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