Rajasthan Royals win a cliffhanger
by CrickeArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Deccan Chargers v Rajasthan Royals
Player:AC Gilchrist, RG Sharma, TL Suman, LA Carseldine, AS Raut, YK Pathan
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 2nd May 2009


Crucial fielding lapses by Deccan Chargers and a cool headed Abhishek Raut made sure defending champions Rajasthan Royals go past a modest total of 141 to inflict the second defeat of the tournament on the Hyderabad side.


Royals however made sure that they convert an easy chase into a nail biter. They were reeling at 3/3 at one stage with South African skipper Graeme Smith, Swapnil Asnodkar and wicketkeeper Naman Ojha all back to the dugout without bothering to trouble the scorers.


In came Ravindra Jadeja (12) and what followed between him and Aussie Lee Carseldine (39) laid the foundation of the chase. The duo added 51 runs in 7.1 overs. The Aussie was the more aggressive between the two and his knock was studded with six hits to the fence. Just when the game seemed to be headed towards the Royals, Venugopal Rao struck double blow sending back both batsmen and opening up the match again.


In a surprise move, skipper Shane Warne came in before the swashbuckling Yusuf Pathan. Warne (21) hit a couple of sixes and alongside Raut stitched a good 36 runs in less than five overs. All along Raut kept playing with a cool head and was anchoring the innings well.


Warne's dismissal brought the burly Pathan on the crease, who in his usual belligerent style made 24 off 14 deliveries with two hits to the fence and two over it.


The match though was not over yet. Twists continued with RP Singh sending back Pathan who skied a full delivery to be caught by Gibbs. He got out with the scoreboard reading 131 which meant the Royals still needed 11 runs in two overs.


The tension continued as the Chargers argued that only one of the two runs that Raut and Harwood ran during a run-out attempt should be counted since the umpire had already signalled a referral at the end of the first run. The appeal was upheld but he it did not yield huge results as Rohit Sharma failed to collect a ball and let it go for four off last bowl of the same over which eased the pressure on Rajasthan, who then needed only two off the final over.


Fidel Edwards bowled two dot balls but then became a part of the fielding juggles messing up a possible run-out of the third ball. Raut and Harwood took two singles to finish the game with two balls to spare.


Earlier in the day, the Deccan Chargers skipper Adam Gilchrist won the toss and decided to bat first. Gilchrist (39) was in a murderous mood and seemed determined to make amends for his last match's flop show.


Royals pacer Munaf Patel was especially on the receiving block as he was carted for a four and a pull six over fine leg in the second over and then Gilchrist followed it up with two more boundaries off Pathan's next over to signal his intentions and take the team score to 27 for no loss after three overs.


Rajasthan Royals, however, did not take long to take control and as once again the rescue came in the form of Pathan who picked up Gibbs and thereon the screws were tightened on the Chargers.


Debutant Shane Harwood (2/25) soon joined the party. His first wicket came off the very first ball as he scalped Azhar Bilakhia, caught inside the circle by Siddharth Trivedi to send the Hyderabad outfit in a spot of bother at 35/2.


From there on, Gilchrist and new man in Sharma found boundaries hard to come by, but kept the scoreboard ticking with ones and twos. The former Australian wicket-keeper, however, cut lose in Shane Warne opening over, dispatching the leggie over long on.


But Ravindra Jadeja (1/22), who has not bowled much in the tournament thus far cut short GilchristÂ’s innings just two ball before the strategy break when Gilchrist went for a huge heave over the leg side, only to find Pathan, who took a smart catch at the short mid-wicket.


However, then came the 42-ball 59-run stand between Sharma and Suman which saved the day for the Deccan chargers and made sure they had a competitive total on the board.