Watson stars in Rajasthan win

Updated: 16 May 2008 16:41 IST

Rajasthan Royals are home by three wickets against Delhi Daredevils at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.


In the game billed the Glenn McGrath Vs Shane Warne showdown, another Shane --- Watson --- produced a polished all-round performance that helped Rajasthan Royals win their fifth straight home game in a tight three-wicket finish against Delhi Daredevils.

It was a largely one-sided game made interesting by a last over finish, after the controversial run out of Watson, who made 74 and had earlier taken 2-21 to set the win up.

Royals were cruising with seven runs needed from 12 balls when they Shane Warne heaved across the line and missed. 150-6.

Next ball, Watson survived a run out at the bowler's end and ran for an overthrow. He dived to make his ground at the batsman's end, but the keeper broke the wicket. Delhi appealed, and square leg umpire Steve Davis promptly said not out and refused to refer it to the third umpire. The replays showed clearly that Watson was out.

Delhi protested the call and their captain Virender Sehwag, along with his teammates, crowded Rudi Koertzen, the other umpire, urging him to refer the decision. The problem: the third umpire MSS Ranawat had gone offline due to a power outage and had asked the ground umpires to make their own calls.

Koertzen tried to pacify Sehwag by informing him of this problem. Sehwag asked Koertzen to check with the third umpire if he was back live --- and as it turned out, he indeed was. The decision was referred and Watson was rightly given run out.

Delhi would rue the result, thanks to three dropped catches and some poor umpiring, both of which Watson benefitted from. The visitors have now dropped out of the top four for the first time in the Indian Premier League.

Delhi needed quick wickets after their ordinary batting but Graeme Smith was dropped first ball by Amit Mishra in the first over of the chase. Watson was dropped by Sehwag when he was 26. Towards the end, Pradeep Sangwan put down Warne.

In between these drops, AB de Villiers pulled off the sensational underarmed direct hit to get rid of Yousuf Pathan, while Sehwag's athletic dive and stop at mid wicket resulted in the run out of Mohammad Kaif. Then there was Yo Mahesh's game-turning catch at long off, taken millimetres off the ground diving to his left, to get rid of Smith.

But Watson kept going strong, playing out the miserly McGrath (4-0-12-1) and Ferveez Maharoof (4-0-22-1) while attacking the lesser bowlers. It was a 22-run over from Mahesh that shifted the momentum back to Rajasthan again.

Sehwag was asked to bat and he reckoned the pitch looked good for a score 180-190. He and Gautam Gambhir provided them a rollicking start of 47 in six overs.

But the innings headed earthwards after Sehwag hit Watson straight to point. From that point till the 19th over, Rajasthan had Delhi on a mat, reducing them to 100-6 in the 16th over.

In the penultimate over --- bowled by Warne --- the momentum shifted, thanks to Ferveez Maharoof's epic assault on Warne. He hit the Royals captain for four sixes in a 27-run over. Warne's figures read 3-0-20-0 before this.

Maharoof made 39 of 16 balls before he became the inexpensive Watson's second wicket of the innings. Siddharth Trivedi (4-0-28-2), Munaf Patel (4-0-24-0) kept the Delhi batsmen on a short rope, while Dmitri Mascarehas, making his IPL debut, recovered from an expensive first over to dismiss AB de Villiers and Dinesh Karthik in one over, and finished his spell with no further damage.

Topics : Cricket
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