Sep 292013
CLT20: Royals Outclass Limp Scorchers
Sunday 29 September 2013 

by Daniel Grummitt

Rahane plays a shot

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

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Aug 272013
S Africa 'A' beat India 'A' to level series

MUMBAI: India ‘A’ lost the second unofficial ‘Test’ by 121 runs to South Africa ‘A’ in Pretoria on Monday to finish off a rather successful tour on a slightly disappointing note, but even on the final day of the sojourn, the team showed enough steel to…

May 092013
Rahane guides Royals to 8-wicket win

MOHALI: Having been ignored for the Champions Trophy, Ajinkya Rahane is batting with a purpose these days. He is out to prove that the decision not to pick him was not the best one. Three half-centuries on the trot, all three while chasing, and all mat…

Apr 142013
Watson, Hussey hit form in IPL

Shane Watson IPL

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.

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Mar 212013
India vs Australia 2013: Ajinkya Rahane to debut in Delhi; Australia condone three homework offenders!

Ajinkya Rahane is set to end his fifteen month long wait for the India cap which Australia made five changes to their playing eleven (including three of the homework offenders) for the last test match.

India: Indian team’s selection panel have reportedly confirmed the selection of Rahane for the playing eleven in the final test of the ongoing series in Delhi. Rahane, who boasts of a hefty first class average of more than 60 spread over number of seasons, has been shadowing the team for nearly fifteen months now as he saw slots open up as Dravid and Laxman retired. However Cheteshwar Pujara nailed the number three slot and Virat Kohli settled at five after Yuvraj, Raina failed to grab their chances.

The loss of form of openers Gambhir and Sehwag gave him hope but frustratingly for him, both M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan (on debut) made their chances count. However a bout of jaundice to Gambhir, who was recalled and then dropped after the diagnosis, has finally allowed Rahane a foot in the door. Dhawan was ruled out of Delhi test with a wrist injury sustained while fielding in Mohali. Rahane distinguished himself well in the shorter formats of the ill fated 2011 tour of England, apart from a fantastic run in IPL last season. One would hope he grabs his opportunity and acquits himself well to justify all the hopes pinned on him.

Australia: Australia meanwhile changed nearly half their squad from their previous match due to a multitude of reasons including injuries, form and (of course!) homework. Watson returns to the team and straightaway is saddled as the 44th test captain of the baggy greens as Clarke‘s dodgy back failed to recover. Pattinson returns too, and Johnson finally gets a game. Mitchell Starc, missing the game due to ankle injury and Xavier Doherty (who played the last two games) makes way. Moises Henriques, who began brightly during the first test makes way for Glenn Maxwell as his returns have diminished alarmingly. Maxwell gets another chance to justify his big IPL price tag on pitches which would be his hunting ground soon. Haddin, who donning the big gloves (and even captaining Australia for a bit last week) was swapped for Matthew Wade, returning from injury.

Jan 052013
India undergo rigorous practice in Kotla

NEW DELHI: With only pride at stake after losing the three-match ODI series against Pakistan, the Indian team underwent a rigorous training session on Saturday ahead of the final match on Sunday with the spotlight on some under-performing players, incl…

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