Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rajasthan chased big Target

JAIPUR: Brad Hodge went ballistic as Rajasthan Royals sealed their perfect home record in IPL-V with a impressive last-over win, by 5 wickets, over the stressed Deccan Chargers at Jaipur, on Tuesday.

Deccan Chargers, looking for their 1st toss success of the season, selected to bat and post a huge 196-2, as their top 4 batsmen came to the fore with racy knocks, and looked set to lastly get on the points board after they peg Royals back in spite of the visitors’ rapid start. 55 were needed in 4overs when Dale Steyn came on to bowl. Hodge spanked four repeated boundaries to arrest the spiraling asking rate, and continued his physical attack against Anand Rajan’s medium-pace, in the 19th over, to leave Royals with 11 to get off Steyn’s final over
Brad Hodge took a single and a couple on the 1st two balls, and the responsibility for the end-game shifted to the unknown entity Dishant Yagnik – who had been penciled in as a last-minute replacement for the injured Shreevats Goswami. The left-handed Yagnik did not even need the 4balls at his disposal - 2 purposeful hits on the off-side, every the way to the fence, and Chargers be left staring at one more defeat from a position of implicit invincibility.
Hodge was man of the match for his 48 runs at 21balls 6 fours and 2 six, but really Royals should thank their captain Rahul Dravid for providing them the start they wanted. Dravid 42, 24balls 7 fours and one six added 62 in just 5.5 overs with Ajinkya Rahane 44, 31balls, 5 four, 1six setting up a good platform for the later batsmen to capitalize on. Chargers had a decent total to bank upon, but lapse in fielding – Owais Shah and Johan Botha were drop, though neither proved costly – and a lackluster business end of the match cost them dear, just the way it had against Mumbai Indians when Rohit Sharma denied them an expected win in the last over.
Chargers, however, had started on the right foot. Sangakkara 44, 32balls, 5 fours, one six and Shikhar Dhawan 52, 43balls, 8 fours gave their team a solid 94-run opening stand, and although they were out within 14 runs of each other, Chargers didn’t let the dismissals change the scoring rate. It was left to the devices of J.P. Duminy to take the visit side to 196. The South African hocked 5 sixes on his way to an unbeaten 26-ball s 58 runs flowed thick and fast in the death overs. Eventually, Brad Hodge innings overshadow Duminy’s, leaving Chargers still exclusive of a win to their name in three games this season.

Player of the match 
BJ Hodge
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