Rajasthan Royals clinch a thriller against Deccan Chargers


Nagpur : An inspirational Shane Warne turned the clock back with a sensational spell, taking four wickets, as Rajasthan Royals beat Deccan Chargers by two runs in a thrilling Indian Premier League contest here Monday.

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Set a winning target of 160 runs, Deccan Chargers were all out for 157 on the penultimate ball of a tense final over bowled by Siddharth Trivedi.

Rohit Sharma, who made a fine 73 off 44 balls, was left stranded as the middle and lower order batsmen could not stand in front of wily Warne, who was all pumped up while leading his team from the front.

Six runs runs were needed off the last over that saw high drama but Chargers lost three wickets even as Sharma stood at the other end. R.P. Singh went for a big shot and was splendidly caught by Morne Morkel, Harmeet Singh threw his wicket after a terrible mix-up while Sharma was the last wicket to fall.

After electing to bat, Rajasthan Royals innings was held together by Shane Watson, who scoring 58 off 36 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes. Faiz Fazal gave him good support with a 29-ball 36, hitting four fours. The two added 77 runs for the third wicket after Rajasthan Royals were two wickets down for 17 runs.

Royals kept losing wickets and were eventually bowled out for 159, but Watson ensured that they put up a decent total to defend.

Warne then ensured that Rajasthan Royals maintained their proud record of never failing to defend a total of 150 or more.

The old warhorse brought his team back into the match after Adam Gilchrist (34 off 17 balls) and Sharma built the foundation for the Chargers’ chase.

Warne gave 21 runs in his quota of four overs and kept taking wickets as Chargers slipped from 112 for four to 139 for seven.

Sharma, however, kept Chargers in the hunt finding the boundaries at regular interval. He struck eight fours and two sixes.

He hit Watson for three consecutive fours and then with his team needing 19 from the last two overs, struck Morkel for a four and a straight six that brought the match within the grasp of Chargers. But the batsmen messed it up in the final over.

With this victory, Rajasthan Royals jumped to fourth place with 10 points in 10 matches and remained in contention for a semi-final berth. Chargers lost their sixth match and slumped to seventh place in the IPL standings.