Friday, May 9, 2008

Rajasthan outplay listless Deccan

Deccan Chargers failed to build on Adam Gilchrist's 61...

The Deccan Chargers rolled over and let the Rajasthan Royals clinch their sixth win from eight games with ease. Deccan put up no fight to defend their below-par total and looked spiritless as Rajasthan chased the target with more than four overs to spare.

Deccan's fielders, perhaps hindered by the dust-storm blowing across the stadium, failed to save runs and even conceded a boundary instead of supporting their bowlers in putting pressure on Rajasthan.

More to follow

Rajasthan Royals kept their cool and reversed Deccan Chargers' aggressive start into a below-par total with disciplined bowling and sharp fielding in Jaipur. At the toss, Adam Gilchrist said his batsmen had the challenge of putting up a total that his bowlers could defend. But clearly Gilchrist was the only one game for the task; Deccan added only 43 after he was dismissed in the 14th over.

Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir went for 20 and 16 respectively in their first two overs but they came back for their second spells determined to make amends. When Watson got Sanjay Bangar to edge to the keeper, Deccan had lost three wickets for five runs. And after Venugopal Rao hit Tanvir for successive fours, the bowler countered with skidding yorkers to slow down the scoring.

In the early part of the innings, the balance of power between batsman and bowler was even for the pitch offered some movement and the batsmen were a little cautious. Munaf Patel bowled a disciplined line and Tanvir swung it in to the left-hander but Gilchrist punished anything wayward and raced to 50 off 37 balls.

Only after he reached his fifty, did Gilchrist, dropped on 52 by Siddharth Trivedi, start throwing his bat at nearly every delivery. He was dismissed when, in reaching for a wide one off Trivedi, he edged the ball to the keeper. Gilchrist started off the evening with a back-foot cover drive off the first ball and followed it with a cut to backward point as Tanvir went for eight runs in the opening over. Watson was flicked for a massive six to square leg when he sent down a half-volley and Munaf was glanced for a four to fine leg.

Herschelle Gibbs joined the fun by lifting Watson for four over cover soon after he was dropped by Graeme Smith when attempting the same shot. Gibbs struggled to pick Warne and was nearly stumped off Warne's first delivery - his foot was in the air and Mahesh Rawat removed the bails just as he brought it down to the ground.

At the end of ten overs, Deccan were at 74 for 1. When Gilchrist was dismissed in the 14th over, they were at 97 for 3. In the next three overs they lost Shahid Afridi, who charged down the track to Warne and edged to third man, Rohit Sharma, run out by a direct throw from Warne, and Bangar.

Deccan can hope that Afridi, like Warne, can get some turn from the wicket and help them defend their modest total.

Deccan Chargers: 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt & wk), 2 Ravi Teja 3 Herschelle Gibbs, 4 Scott Styris, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Venugopal Rao, 8 Sanjay Bangar, 9 RP Singh, 10 P Vijaykumar, 11 Pragyan Ojha.

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Niraj Patel, 3 Yusuf Pathan, 4 Shane Watson, 5 Mohammad Kaif, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Mahesh Rawat (wk), 8 Shane Warne (capt), 9 Sohail Tanvir, 10 Siddharth Trivedi, 11 Munaf Patel.