Watson takes Royals to big win

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/w/watsonipl.jpg' class='caption'> Shane Watson and Graeme Smith take Rajasthan home by seven wickets against Bagalore Royal Challengers.

Updated: April 27, 2008 18:24 IST
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The cross bat reduced Bangalore to a wreck, here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Playing Rajasthan Royals at home, the Royal Challengers lost their top four wickets to pulls and hooks, and never recovered from it.

Rajasthan overcame opening problems - the bane of all teams in the fray - and chased down their modest target of 136 with seven wickets and overs to spare. It was a one-sided game by any means, the ninth such result in twelve games played in the Indian Premier League.

Shane Warne's side, which appeared the weakest in the competition, has now emerged as the side to beat. The threadbare setup has now won thrice in four outings, joining Chennai at the top of the points table.

Graeme Smith and Shane Watson, who could easily be mistaken for siblings, batted responsibly for their 104-run stand, which settled matters for Rajasthan. The beefy left-right combo joined hands with their team doddering on 26-2 on a wicket with grip.

Earlier in the evening, Bangalore got off to a slippery start. Shivnarine Chanderpaul nearly ran himself out first ball of the game, but Siddharth Trivedi missed the direct hit from mid off.

But next ball, Rahul Dravid hooked straight to Ravindra Jadeja's hands at long leg, getting Watson off the mark.

In Watson's next over, Chanderpaul attempted a pull that took the top edge and flew to third man - Jadeja again.

Jacques Kallis and Ross Taylor strode out to set things right, taking Bangalore to 57-2 in six overs in explosive fashion.

But both fell to the pull - Kallis to long leg, Taylor to midwicket. Virat Kohli nearly became the fifth victim of the shot - Jadeja's spectacular attempt at his third catch nearly came off, but he touched the rope as he fell down after cupping the ball.

Bangalore's hopes were pinned on Mark Boucher to play a combative innings but he fell to Warne's third ball, caught behind.

It took some Praveen Kumar's 34 late charge to take Bangalore past the hundred run mark. He hit Warne for consecutive sixes, spoiling his economical bowling during the 30-ball innings.

In a tournament where teams are crossing 200 with regularity, Bangalore's score of 135 was not going to be enough. However, they had themselves to blame for throwing away wickets at delicate junctures.

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