… innings 52 against Australia and 57 in the first innings against Sri Lanka at Galle — barring that ton at the Sinhalese Sports Club in 13 Test innings.
Ajinkya Rahane’s 59 helped the Rajasthan Royals post victory in their first game of the season
© REUTERS / Action Images
Rajasthan Royals 135-6 (Rahane 59) beat
Sunrisers Hyderabad 133-6 by four wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Abu Dhabi
The Rajasthan Royals made hard work of it before beating the Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets with three balls to spare in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match in Abu Dhabi.
After the early match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab had seen both sides pass 200, this game was a much tenser affair.
And the Sunrisers were made to rue only reaching 133 for six when the Royals got over the line in the final over.
Ajinkya Rahane made 59 and Stuart Binny an unbeaten 48 for the 2008 champions.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan top scored for the Sunrisers with 38 but he was one of a number of batsmen to lose his wicket when well set.
David Warner (32) and KL Rahul (20) were similarly guilty while Aaron Finch (2), Darren Sammy (6) and Karan Sharma (7) were dismissed cheaply.
Venugopoal Rao landed some lusty blows and ended on 16 not out in 12 balls.
With the ball, Dhawal Kulkarni (2-23) and Kane Richardson (2-25) were excellent upfront while Rajat Bhatia (2-22) performed superbly later on.
Richardson also bagged three catches to cap a good all-round performance in the field.
The Sunrisers’ charge to the play-off last season was built around the strength of their bowling but on this occasion, they came off second best.
Dale Steyn (2-29) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-21) bowled some superb deliveries to ensure that the game would go down to the wire, as did Ishant Sharma, who returned one for 29.
Steyn trapped Abhishek Nayar in front for four, Sanju Samson was caught by Dhawan off Bhuvneshwar for three and Watson was caught behind by Rahul for the same score off Ishant.
That made it 31 for three and from there Rahane and Binny took the Royals close to the line. The former played a relatively circumspect knock of 59 in 53 balls, including six fours, that in the circumstances, was ideal.
He survived a blow to the helmet via Ishant to stay until the 16th over when he was caught by Finch off leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
His dismissal gave the Sunrisers a sniff, particularly as Brad Hodge (1) and Bhatia (4) also fell, but Binny, who faced 32 balls, held his nerve before James Faulkner hit the only two balls he faced for four to seal the win.
© Cricket World 2014
After a high scoring thriller in Abu Dhabi, things settled down a bit as Rajasthan Royals registered a comfortable win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a low scoring encounter. While Sunrisers could manage only 133 in their alloted 20 overs, the Royals from Rajasthan notched up the runs comfortably after a few initial hiccups.
Match Review: Indian Premier League – Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. April 18th at Sheik Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals’ captain Shane Watson won the toss and put Sunrisers Hyderabad to bat first. The decision paid rich dividends in the first over of the innings as Dhawal Kulkarni managed to get a big scalp of Aaron Finch. Captain Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner played risk free cricket and tried to consolidate but tight bowling from the Royals kept the score in check.
Rajat Bhatia provided the second breakthrough in the 12th over by dismissing the dangerous looking Shikhar Dhawan for 38 who was looking to free his arms. Another wicket of David Warner by Bhatia in his next over put the Royals in a commanding position.
Darren Sammy tried the big hits but failed to capitalize. Venugopal Rao at the other end too was unsuccessful in lifting the run rate, all thanks to a tight bowling from Pravin Tambe in the middle overs. James Faulkner and KW Richardson applied the brakes in the Sunrisers’ innings in the death overs which resulted in a familiar sub 130 kind of total for the batting team.
Chasing a modest 134 to win, the Royals threw a surprise by sending Abhishek Nayar to open instead of captain Shane Watson. The move backfired as Dale Steyn trapped Nayar for LBW on the third ball of the first over itself. Sanju Samson too got out which was a soft dismissal and the pressure was back on Rajasthan Royals.
Major tragedy struck on the Royals in the seventh over when Watson was caught for just 3 off Ishant Sharma’s bowling. Ajinkya Rahane then tried to stabilize the innings with Stuart Binny and the duo played sensible cricket in the middle overs. Rahane kept it safe while Binny was more aggressive. Both put up a 77 run match winning partnership.
Amit Mishra managed to get Rahane out for 59 in the 16th over but the Royals then needed only 26 in the last four overs. For a brief period, it looked like there might be a twist in the tale when Mishra bowled a very tight over and got rid of Brad Hodge for 1. But all hopes were dashed as Binny kept his cool along with James Faulkner who finished the match in the last over with two consecutive boundaries.
Scorecard: Rajasthan Royals – 135/6 (Rahane – 59, Binny – 48*; Steyn 2/29, Mishra 2/26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad – 133/6 (Dhawan 38, Warner 32; Bhatia 2/22, Kulkarni 2/23)
Player of the Day: Ajinkya Rahane (RR)
Disappointment of the Day: Darren Sammy (SRH)
Umpires: BE Bowden (New Zealand) and RK Illingworth (England)
by Daniel Grummitt
Ajinkya Rahane made the Royals run chase a formality.
REUTERS/Adnan Abidi. Picture Supplied by Action Images
Rajasthan Royals 121-1 (Rahane 62no) beat
Perth Scorchers 120 (Cooper 4-18) by 9 wickets
Champions League T20, Group A Match, Jaipur
The day’s second Champions League T20 match was markedly more one-sided than the first. Whereas Otago and Lions had needed a second tie-breaker to separate them, Rajasthan Royals breezed into the semi-finals courtesy of a nine-wicket demolition of a now-eliminated Perth Scorchers.
Slow bowlers Kevon Cooper and Pravin Tambe shared six wickets for 35 runs as Perth were dismissed for a pitiful 120 after being asked to bat. Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson then hit unbeaten half-centuries to help the Royals ease home in the 17th over.
They did lose their skipper Rahul Dravid in the opening over of their run chase to Jason Behrendorff for a duck, but that was to be the Scorchers’ sole success. Rahane and Samson added an unbroken 120 for the second-wicket in 95 balls, with the former ending on 62 off 53 balls having hit seven boundaries, and the latter on 50 off 42 balls, also with seven boundaries to his name.
The Scorchers bowlers hardly disgraced themselves but were simply given far too few runs to defend. Behrendorff, Michael Beer and Joel Paris each went at around seven runs per over.
The Perth innings had earlier been a painful affair as they lost regular wickets. Six of their batsmen reached double figures, but only one of those – Adam Voges with 27 – went onto reach 20. James Faulkner took two wickets with his left-arm seam, but it was Tambe and Cooper who did most of the damage.
The 41 year-old leg-spinner took two for 17 from his fours overs, dismissing Tom Triffitt and Scorchers skipper Simon Katich. Trinidadian Cooper, meanwhile, ripped the heart out of the middle-order, removing Adam Voges, Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Turner and Joe Mennie en route to four for 18 and the man of the match award.
The Royals join Chennai Super Kings in having already qualified for the semi-finals, while neither Australian side – Perth Scorchers or Brisbane Heat – can now make the last four.
Group A standings: Royals 12 points (3 games played), Otago 10 points (3), Mumbai 6 points (3), Lions (4), Scorchers (3) both 2 points.
© Cricket World 2013
Quickfire … Shane Watson made valuable runs for Rajasthan Royals. Source: AAP
Ajinkya Rahane guided Rajasthan Royals to a six-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur.
Rahane finished 34 not out as the Royals chased down a target of 125 with four balls to spare for their third win out of four in the Indian Premier League this season.
Rahane’s opening partner Shane Watson launched the run chase with a 19-ball 32 that featured seven fours before the Kings XI hit back to reduce the Royals to 4-79, including two wickets for seamer Praveen Kumar (2-10).
But Rahane, who faced 42 balls and struck three fours, and Sanju Samson (27no) saw Rajasthan across the winning line in the final over with a fifth-wicket stand of 47 from 39 deliveries.
David Hussey had earlier top scored with 41 as the Kings XI were bowled out for 124 in 18.5 overs after being sent in.
Rajasthan’s seamers shared the wickets around with two each for Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (2-20), Kevon Cooper (2-33), James Faulkner (2-30) and Siddharth Trivedi (2-21).
In the day’s other match, a virtuoso all-round display from Jaques Kallis inspired Kolkata Knight Riders to a 48-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The South Africa star cracked 41 off 27 balls to help the Knight Riders post 4-180 batting first and then prevented the Sunrisers from topping the IPL table with competition-best figures of 3-13 in the reply.
England’s Eoin Morgan also played a leading role, combining well with Kallis out in the middle to score 47 from only 21 balls.
Morgan’s cameo added late impetus to a Knight Riders innings which had been set-up perfectly through captain Gautam Gambhir’s half-century.
Gambhir shared a 59-run opening partnership with Manvinder Bisla inside eight overs and kicked on to reach his half-century in the 12th over off 39 balls.
Kallis kept the scoreboard ticking along after Gambhir was bowled by Ashish Reddy and Morgan found the rope five times and cleared it on three occasions to put the hosts in a commanding position at the halfway stage.
The Sunrisers knew a successful run-chase would put them on top of the IPL standings and they made a strong start through openers Parthiv Patel (27) and Cameron White (34).
But Kallis (3-13) continued his influential afternoon with the wickets of both openers in his first spell, shifting the momentum of the match in Kolkata’s favour in the process.
Thisara Perera top-scored for Hyderabad with an entertaining 36, a rare highlight on an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the visitors.