Watson fires as Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI(Lead)

April 22nd, 2008 - 2:14 am ICT by admin  

Jaipur, April 21 (IANS) Shane Watson scored an explosive 76 as Rajasthan Royals thrashed favourites Kings XI Punjab by six wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Monday night. Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI slumped to their second successive defeat as Royals, after their lacklustre appearance against Delhi Daredevils, raised their game to score their first win in the tournament.

Chasing a competitive total of 166 for eight, Royals romped home with 11 balls to spare as Watson (76 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (36 not out) took the team home in front of a packed Sawai Man Singh stadium.

The match was dubbed as a no-contest even before it began but Royals, led by a wily Shane Warne, proved that they are no pushovers and can beat any team on their day.

Watson was given the man of the match award for his 49-ball 76 that included five fours and as many sixes. Young Jadeja’s innings included five boundaries and one six and the duo added 69. Darren Lehmann contributed 17.

Earlier, Royals skipper Warne weaved magic with the ball and snared three wickets at crucial moments, giving away a meagre 19 runs. Pacer Siddharth Trivedi (2-25) bowled an impressive line not allowing anything to the batsmen when they prepared to accelerate in the last overs.

Yuvraj struck an aggressive 57 and took the team out of trouble as they were reduced to 73 for the loss of four wickets. Piyush Chawla hit 24 lower down the order.

Yuvraj was however lucky to get two lives. Darren Lehmann dropped an easy catch when Yuvraj was on one as he top-edged a shot off Warne. He was again dropped by Mohammad Kaif at point few balls later.

Put into bat, Punjab openers Karan Goel (26) and James Hopes (16) forged 34-run stand.

Goel was in an ominous mood and danced down the track to hit some huge blows. Pacer Muanf Patel was at the receiving end of his knock.

Goel hit Munaf for a boundary and a six in the third over. The punishment continued for Munaf in his next over as Goel slammed him another four and six. But Munaf had the last laugh when he uprooted Goel’s stumps with a yorker in the same over.

Kumar Sangakkara (20) then played a cameo blasting pacer Trivedi for one six and two fours in succession but Warne put the skids on Kings XI score.

Warne picked two wickets in his two overs and another leg-spinner Dinesh Salunkhe got one scalp in between. The triple blows proved costly for the Kings XI.

Sangakkara fell as he tried to smash Warne out of the park but gave a straightforward return catch in the sixth over.

Salunkhe, who has no experience in the first class level and was the winner of Mumbai leg of popular reality show ‘Cricket star’, impressed with his bowling. He removed Jayawardene who charged down the track but was deceived in flight and stumped by Kamran Akmal. Warne then trapped Hopes leg before wicket as Kings XI looked in trouble.

Yuvraj then hit some mighty blows before Warne came back to trap him leg before wicket.

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