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Pune Warriors India’spoor run in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 followed them to Jaipur where they lost a closely fought game to the Rajasthan Royals. Although they set the home team a sizeable 179-run target, it wasn’t enough to halt the Royals winning streak at home.
RR skipper Rahul Dravidand Ajinkya Rahane set up the match and the rest of the team ensured that they made it to the finish line to stay in contention for a spot in the Play-Offs.Describing his opposite number’s knockAaron Finch said, “Dravid got the job done like a surgeon.” And the surgeon’s team ensured that they held their nerve, and finished the game with clinical precision after their leader set the tone of the innings.
But it was Mitchell Marsh’s blitzkrieg towards the end of the PWI innings that set up the fight and gave the visitors a chance to make a match of it. The Australian youngster smashed a 21-ball 35 including three sixes. The Warriors gleaned 27 runs off RR in the last two overs to take their total to 178.
Speaking to iplt20.com after yet another gut wrenching loss, Marsh said batting was one of the positives from the game that they would hope to take into the next clash and hope to win.
Excerpts from the interview:
After your onslaught in the last two overs, did you think you were in with a good chance?
Yes, I thought we were in with a good chance on Sunday night. It was nice to get runs in the end and get to a par total. Unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line.
Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch got you off to one of the best starts this season. Your thoughts?
Robin and Finchy (Aaron Finch) have done that almost in every game for us, got us the good starts. They have been consistent and they did a good job today. I feel that if they keep doing that then we can get runs on the board.
Does bowling in the death overs remain an area of concern?
I thought we bowled well out there. (Stuart) Binny batted really well to finish off the game and unfortunately that’s the way it goes. They missed a couple of balls and then they got fours which is unfortunate.
Was there any particular reason for not bowling in the match?
We had a lot of bowling so I was there with the bat.
What are the positives that you take from the match going ahead?
Our batting was really good on Sunday night. Everyone who batted contributed so that was great and we will take that momentum into the next game and hopefully as a team we can get a win.
3: Number of times both openers have scored fifties together for Rajasthan Royals. Graeme Smith and Swapnil Asnodkar (vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Jaipur, 2008); Naman Ojha and Graeme Smith (vs Kings XI Punjab, Durban, 2009) provided the other two such instances.
5: Number of fifty stands put on by the pair of Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch in IPL 2013 – most by an opening pair.
7: Number of consecutive matches lost by Pune Warriors India. They had lost 11 in a row (an IPL record) between 2012 and 2013; and also seven in a row in 2011 edition.
10: Rahul Dravid became tenth batsman to aggregate 2000 runs in IPL.
25: Number of boundaries in Pune Warriors India’s innings (20 fours and 5 sixes). Most conceded by Rajasthan Royals in a match at Jaipur.
97: Runs added by Uthappa and Finch – Pune Warriors’ highest opening partnership in IPL. It is also their highest partnership for any wicket in IPL 2013.
100: Percent – Rajasthan Royals’ win-record at Jaipur in IPL2013 – six wins out of six.
182: Rajasthan Royals’ total – second highest successful chase at Jaipur after Rajasthan Royals’ 197 for five against Deccan Chargers in 2012.