Rajasthan Royals beat Pune Warriors for third straight win


Jaipur:Ross Taylor struck an unbeaten 35-ball 47 to propel Rajasthan Royals to a six-wicket victory over Pune Warriors in Indian Premier League here Sunday.

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Taylor smashed four boundaries and two sixes and rustled up a 52-run unbroken fifth wicket partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (15 not out) to chase down Pune Warriors 143/7 with three balls to spare.

It was Royals’ third straight win and they have now moved to the top of the table while Pune, with their sixth successive loss are languishing at the bottom.

Rahul Sharma was the pick of Warriors’ bowlers with 3-13.

Alfonso Thomas gave Warriors the breakthrough when he had dangerous opener Shane Watson caught behind.

Sharma put the Royals’ chase off-track by dismissing Rahul Dravid and Johan Botha in his successive overs that saw Rajasthan reeling at 59/3 in 10.1 overs. Sharma dismissed Dravid by taking a return catch and then trapped Botha plumb.

Ashok Maneria played a brisk 22-ball 29, smashing three sixes to give thrust to the Royals’ pursuit.

He put on 33 runs for the fourth wicket with Taylor before he was was caught by Thomas at deep mid-wicket off Sharma.

Taylor and Rahane then saw the team through.

Sent in, Warriors were given a good start by Robin Uthappa (35) and Manish Pandey (30) after losing Jesse Ryder early.

Botha got the better of Ryder when he danced down the wicket only to be stumped.

But once Uthappa was dismissed caught behind off Warne, the middle order crumbled. Uthappa hit 7 fours in his 21-ball innings.

Yuvraj Singh was run out by Siddharth Trivedi (2-28), who then had Manish Pandey caught by Taylor at deep mid-wicket to reduce Pune Warriors to 93/4.