Munaf clinches a thriller for Rajasthan Royals (Lead)

May 15th, 2009 - 2:19 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Durban, May 14 (IANS) Munaf Patel bowled a sensational last over as defending champions Rajasthan Royals pipped Mumbai Indians by two runs in a heart-stopping Indian Premier League contest (IPL) here Thursday to jump to the third spot in the standings.
Royals now have 13 points with two matches remaining. The loss has badly hit Mumbai Indians chances of semifinal berth as they have been pushed to sixth place with 11 points from 12 matches.

Both teams fought fiercely in the must-win match and Royals, led by an injured Shane Warne, showed their fighting spirit in the tense encounter.

Rajasthan Royals modest total of 145/7 was built around Rob Quiney (51) and Ravindra Jadeja (42)

Chasing, Mumbai Indians recovered from three for 23 through Sachin Tendulkar (40) and Abhishak Nayar (35), before losing the plot in the final two overs.

Nayar took Mumbai within sniffing distance of victory when he dispatched Johan Botha for a brilliant six to bring down the required runs to just 6 off 9 balls - but then the game changed dramatically.

Nayar was run out off the next delivery and Botha gave only two more runs, which included a wide.

Patel (2-22) trapped Dhawal Kulkarni with a yorker in the second ball of the final over and was spot on with the rest of his deliveries. Chetanya Nanda was run out trying to give the strike to Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga then fell short of the crease with one ball remaining, sparking wild celebration in the Royals camp.

Royals’ captain Shane Warne (3-24) again led from the front despite playing with a hamstring injury.

Warne, who had earlier said he would miss the action because of the injury, surprised everyone by taking to the field.

He took the two crucial wickets of Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya.

Two veterans of their art - Warne and Tendulkar - were locked in an intense battle, turning a page to the olden days.

Tendulkar had the upper hand when he made room to hit the leg-spinner inside out for a four over extra cover.

Two balls later, Warne almost had Tendulkar’s wicket when he drew him out with to a tossed up delivery and forced a mishit.

Tendulkar then hit a straight six off Pathan, but in the next over Jean Paul Duminy chopped Siddharth Trivedi’s short delivery onto his stumps

With the asking rate crossing 10 runs per over, Tendulkar responded with three successive straight fours off Ravindra Jadeja.

Warne finally had Tendulkar trapped leg-before with a straighter one and celebrated wildly.

Nayar brought the match alive with two fours off off-spinner Botha, who is playing his first match after bwing cleared of suspect action with a rider against bowling his doosra.

–Indo-Asian News service


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