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All-round Watson helps RR move up the ladder with 43-run win over KXIP
By IPL desk
Mumbai 06 May 2012
Coming off four straight defeats, the Rajasthan Royals arrested their losing streak by downing the resurgent Kings XI Punjab by 43 runs in Mohali. With their fifth victory in 11 games, the Royals jumped to the fifth position on the points table, just ahead of their opponents for the day. The victory was scripted by Shane Watson, who produced a match-winning all-round performance that included him scoring 36 quick runs and taking two wickets.
The pressure of chasing 178 runs got to the KXIP batsmen as they finished with 134 for eight. Shane Watson, who was the top batsman for the Royals, drew first blood in the KXIP innings by dismissing Mandeep Singh (7). Nitin Saini (2) and David Hussey (8) went back to the pavilion soon as they fell to Shaun Tait and Siddharth Trivedi respectively. Shaun Marsh put up a lone fight for Kings XI with a 27-ball knock of 34. But KXIP was dealt a huge blow when Johan Botha got rid of Marsh in the ninth over. Once they had the hosts under the mat, the Royals ensured they didn’t let them off the hook.
Shaun Tait, who played his first game in IPL 2012, impressed with his bowling. He registered figures of two for 18 in his four overs. Johan Botha was another successful bowler for RR, with figures of two for 21 in four overs.
After RR won the toss and elected to bat first, Ajinkya Rahane (5) had a rare off day. However, the Mohali crowd was treated to the fire and ice combination of Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson. The two put on 69 runs in 39 balls after Ryan Harris got rid of the in-form Rahane in the second over.
While Dravid (46 off 39 balls) showcased his trademark textbook shots, Watson went hammer and tongs against the KXIP bowling. The Australian all-rounder smashed four fours and a couple of massive sixes en route to his 17-ball 36. Ashok Menaria, who has had a relatively indifferent season this IPL, played a fine cameo of 34 runs off 27 balls that included a four and two sixes. Brad Hodge was another key contributor with the bat scoring a crucial 36 runs off 23 balls; he hit two fours and two sixes.
Ryan Harris was the pick of the KXIP bowlers with figures of four for 34 in his four overs. After removing the two openers, he sent Hodge and Stuart Binny back into the hut. Piyush Chawla was once again the most expensive bowler for the hosts, as he gave away 38 runs in his four overs, but he did pick up two wickets in return. Scorecard
Man of the Match:Shane Watson for his all-round performance that saw him score 36 runs from 17 balls and pick up two wickets for 22 runs
All-round show from KKR thwarts PWI’s spirited comeback
By IPL desk
Mumbai 05 May 2012
Sourav Ganguly couldn’t make his Eden Gardens return a happy one as the Kolkata Knight Riders defeated the Pune Warriors India by seven runs. The closely-fought encounter was peppered with aggressive plays from both sides. But KKR showed more fight at the end to fortify their position at the No.2 spot in the IPL points table.
Chasing 151 for the win, PWI didn’t get off to a good start. South African speedster Marchant de Lange made his presence felt right from the beginning. Michael Clarke was bowled after making just one run. While Robin Uthappa’s (16) uppish drive found Lakshmi Ratan Shukla to give de Lange his second wicket of the night. Manish Pandey (17) looked in fine nick, but his attempted hoick only managed to find Debabrata Das as PWI were reduced to 49 for three.
The Knight Riders were rampant in the early stages as they took two further wickets in the form of Minthun Manhas (1) and Steven Smith (14). Manhas mistimed a pull off Jacques Kallis, while Smith was unlucky to be given lbw after getting an inside edge off Sunil Narine. At 55 for five, PWI required a miracle second-half comeback with the bat to stay in the game. Sourav Ganguly and Angelo Mathews provided the away side a glimmer of hope with their attacking strokeplay. Mathews took a liking to Yusuf Pathan in the 15th as he smashed the KKR all-rounder for three consecutive sixes to give the away side some momentum.
Ganguly (36) couldn’t quite see his side through after holing out at mid-wicket off Rajat Bhatia. Wayne Parnell was the next to go, when he was run-out after making just one run. With 18 required off the last over, de Lange managed to restrict the Warriors’s score to 143 for eight to ensure the home team won by seven runs.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat first on the Eden Gardens wicket. The aggressive intentions of the Knight Riders were clear right from the outset. Openers Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum went about scoring runs with utmost ease. The duo seemed in to be complete control while dominating the Warriors’ bowlers. The KKR skipper was particularly harsh on anything lose on his way to smashing a 36-ball 56. McCullum played the role of a support attacker to perfection; often striking the ball with power and precision.
If the first 10 overs belonged to KKR, the remaining 10 were reserved for a brilliant PWI comeback with the ball. The home side was cruising along till Gambhir smashed a Murali Kartik full-toss straight into the hands of Mithun Manhas at long-off. McCullum (42) couldn’t continue his good form after being adjudged lbw off an Angelo Mathews delivery. At 115 for two, the Knight Riders found themselves suddenly on the back foot. PWI sensed an opportunity to press home the advantage and they did just that, by dismissing Jacques Kallis (1), Yusuf Pathan (11) and Laskshmi Ratan Shukla (0) cheaply. The away side pulled things back brilliantly in the final 10 overs to eventually restrict KKR to a modest 150 for five in 20 overs.