Royal encounter: Bangalore lose again, Rajasthan continue winning spree(Lead)

April 27th, 2008 - 1:38 am ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 26 (IANS) Bangalore Royal Challengers’ woes are far from over as they went down to underdogs Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament here Saturday. Put into bat first, Royal Challengers’ famed batting line-up led by captain Rahul Dravid failed to fire and scored only 135 runs for the loss of eight wickets. In reply, Rajasthan Royals scored 138 in 17.1 overs riding on a brilliant unbeaten 61 from Shane Watson and opener Graeme Smith’s 49.

The win lifted Royals to the second spot from the fourth in the points table while Royal Challengers are still at the sixth place in the eight-team league.

The pitch at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium had little for the bowlers, but Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne decided to bowl first. For a brief while, it seemed the Australian had made a wrong choice, when Ross Taylor gave Warne and Co. a tough time.

Taylor scored a brisk 44 off 20 balls but his flashy innings came to an end when he tried to charge Munaf Patel but failed to time the stroke and was lapped up by Smith in the deep.

It was an all-round performance by Rajasthan Royal’s Watson that made the difference between the two teams. Watson picked both openers and gave just 20 runs from his four overs.

Rajasthan’s seamers dominated the match and that was apparent from the fact that Warne brought himself on only in the 12th over. Warne had instant success as he picked up Mark Boucher, who got an inside-edge onto the pads, and wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat dived to pouch after the ball ballooned in the air.

Boucher’s dismissal reduced the hosts to 78/6 and it was left to the heroics of Parveen Kumar, who helped the home team reach the three-figure mark with 34 off 30 deliveries.

While chasing, Rajasthan Royals suffered the first blow in the very second over as Rawat was caught behind by Boucher off Kumar.

But the visitors faced few problems afterwards as Smith was involved in two crucial partnerships with Yusuf Pathan (21) and Watson to steer them to a convincing win.

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