IPL 2013: Shane Watson, Sanju Samson star as Rajasthan Royals bt Royal Challengers Bangalore
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There was some excitement towards the end with quick wickets of Shane Watson and Brad Hodge, but the damage was already done and Stuart Binny delivered the final blow to help his side to a four-wicket win.
Sanju Samson, after being promoted up the order, impressed all with his stroke-play on both sides of the wicket. The young right-hander stitched useful partnerships with skipper Rahul Dravid and all-rounder Watson to take his side closer to the target.
The elegant batsman couldn't carry on, and was removed by a Ravi Rampaul slower one, which he intended to heave over mid-wicket. He played some delightful shots during his 41-ball 63, and his back-to-back sixes over extra-cover, off Murali Kartik's bowling, were a treat to watch.
Watson kept going despite Samson's departure, and with able assistance from Brad Hodge, took Rajasthan very close to the target. The Aussie duo didn't allow the pressure to dominate them and were not afraid to go over the top.
One can't term it to be a hapless effort with the ball, but Bangalore released steam when they had to sustain and build on. After Samson's wicket, the run-rate, despite going up, came down as the bowlers missed their lines.
Rampaul had a decent outing, but leaked a lot of runs in his last over. Both Hodge and Watson didn't leave any scoring opportunities and dispatched the loose balls with disdain.
The score of 171/6 might suggest that the tourists put up a good show with the bat. That, however, was not the case as all of the Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen got off to starts, but none of them stayed there till the end.
Courtesy three sixes in the last over by seamer Vinay Kumar, the tourists managed to post a competitive 171/6. They were in serious trouble after skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers fell in quick succession, and even 150 looked difficult from there on.
The start was good, middle overs experienced a mixed performance, but the team ended in style.
Chris Gayle looked in ominous touch in his 16-ball 34. The south paw was striking the ball sweetly before Shane Watson removed the belligerent opener.
All of the following batsman -- Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Moises Henriques -- got set, but fell at the wrong moment. The team wanted either one of them to bat through and guide the innings. That, however, didn't happen as Rajasthan Royals were brilliant in the field.
They gave nothing away and kept a check on the flow of runs. Shane Watson used his variations to full effect, and picked three wickets in his quota of overs.
All the bowlers chipped in, but birthday boy James Faulkner, couldn't deliver today. The left-arm seamer went for more than 10 runs per over, and couldn't make any addition to the wickets tally.
SR Watson, AM Rahane, R Dravid (c), OA Shah, STR Binny, BJ Hodge, SV Samson†, JP Faulkner, A Chandila, SK Trivedi, S Sreesanth
Royal Challengers Bangalore
CH Gayle, A Mukund, V Kohli(c), AB de Villiers†, SS Tiwary, MC Henriques, R Rampaul, R Vinay Kumar, M Kartik, RP Singh, JD Unadkat