It took a brilliant 32* off 13 balls from Stuart Binny to take Rajasthan Royals home against Pune Warriors, with one ball to spare, despite a fine opening stand of 98 by Rahul Dravid (58) and Ajinkya Rahane (67). This after Pune had scored 178/4 riding high on Robin Uthappa's 54, Aaron Finch's 45 and Mitchell Marsh's blistering 35. (BCCI Image)
It was a totally uncharacteristic Dravid who came to fore today as he completed his 10th IPL fifty off 36 balls with a brilliant straight six off Rahul Sharma's bowling.
He also went past 2000 runs in the tournament before holding out at long-off off Angelo Mathews, though, not before the team was given a solid platform to launch from. His 58 came from 40 balls with 9 boundaries and a six. (BCCI Image)
Robin Uthappa followed his 75 against Bangalore with another solid 54 off 41 balls to help Pune Warriors to a formidable 178/4 runs versus Rajasthan Royals. (BCCI Image)
Aaron Finch too displayed fine form hitting 45 off 32 balls and combining to add 97 for the first wicket with Uthappa. Mitchell Marsh's cracking 21-ball 35 towards the end added impetus after Rajasthan bowlers fought back mid-innings with back-to-back wickets. (BCCI Image)
Shane Watson was the most economical of the bowlers with figures of 0/29 from his four. All others - James Faulkner, Ajit Chandila, Kevon Cooper, Siddharth Trivedi and Stuart Binny - returned expensive figures. (BCCI Image)
Pune had a blistering start yet again with Finch and Uthappa firing on all cylinders. Ajit Chandila, who has a hat-trick against the same team in the previous edition of the IPL, was smacked for 14 in his second over as the Pune pair cut loose. (BCCI Image)
The very next over, by Shane Watson, went for another 13 runs as the Karnataka batsman showcased his boundary hitting skills yet again. Rajasthan bowlers were not too disciplined either with Kevon Cooper, brought back into the side, giving away 5 wides off the first ball of his opening over.
With Pune going strong at 61/0 after 6 overs, Rajasthan were forced to take the first time-out early. Even that did not help though as the runs continued to flow off the bats of both the batsmen. (BCCI Image)
Rajasthan had a small opportunity to dismiss Uthappa when Chandila tried to take a catch on the long-on boundary off Stuart Binny but just stepped over the rope for it to be signalled a six.
The pair then carried on till 97 when Finch was cleaned up by Cooper trying to bring up his fifty with a big hit. Uthappa though batted on merrily and was joined by Yuvraj Singh. (BCCI Image)
Not included in the national side for the Champions Trophy, Yuvraj came to the middle in slam-bang mode to hit Binny for a four and a demoralising six in the same over. Meanwhile, Uthappa completed another fifty this season with a boundary off Siddharth Trivedi. (BCCI Image)
Rajasthan came back into the match when Yuvraj and Uthappa fell in quick succession. As has been the case this season, the left-hander departed just when he was looking to up the ante. This time it was a mis-timed pull off Trivedi which Cooper took comfortably. He scored 15 off 11 balls. (BCCI Image)
Uthappa then got run-out trying to take a cheeky single. Young keeper Sanju Samson hit the stumps to send him back to the dug-out for 54 off 41 balls.
Angelo Mathews and, in particular, Mitchell Marsh, then combined to hit some lusty blows at the end to take the Pune side to a formidable total. (BCCI Image)
Rajasthan too got off to a good start with skipper Rahul Dravid promoting himself up the order. The former India No.3 hit genuine cricket shots, as has been the case all his career, to get the home side going. (BCCI Image)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been Pune's go-to man the whole season, bore the brunt of Dravid's attack, going for 17 in his first two overs. Ajinkya Rahane, who was dropped from the Champions Trophy squad, also got going with a boundary and a six off Krishnakant Upadhyay, who was brought in for Ashok Dinda. (BCCI Image)
Rahane meanwhile continued batting fluently and was joined by in-form Shane Watson. The Indian top-order batsman too completed his fifty just like Dravid did, with a six. His was a beautiful one over deep extra-cover off Mathews as Rajasthan went about chasing their target almost nonchalantly. The 14th over of the innings cost 21 runs as Mathews was hit all over the park. (BCCI Image)
Wayne Parnell, playing his first game of the season, was the one who fought hard for Pune as he took the wickets of Shane Watson, Brad Hodge and Sanju Samson to rattle the Rajasthan middle-order. (BCCI Image)
Rahane completed a fine fifty and scored 67 before holding out trying to hit out of the park. His innings though had made the match seem within reach despite being a huge total. (BCCI Image)
|1||chennai super kings||16||11||5||22|
|5||royal challengers bangalore||16||9||7||18|
|6||kings xi punjab||16||8||8||16|
|7||kolkata knight riders||16||6||10||12|
|8||pune warriors india||16||4||12||8|
May 26 2013,20:00 (IST)
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