Hodge restricts listless Rajasthan to 97

Kochi’s Brad Hodge celebrates fall of a wicket with team-mates AFP

By Jamie Alter

Indore: May 15, 2011

Rajasthan Royals made a whopping six changes for this match, but a familiar pattern unfolded against Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Holkar Stadium. The openers failed to lay a platform, the middle order imploded, partnerships were hard to come by, and the lower order had too much to try and recover. Of the six changes made, three were batsmen and they managed to add a combined 21 runs, adding to RR s woes against a very tidy bowling attack, led surprisingly by Brad Hodge who netted a career-best four for 13.

Having removed RR s openers off successive deliveries Faiz Fazal rapped on the pads and Rahul Dravid sucked into edging a good away swinger KTK found further success in the sixth over. Ajinkya Rahane, shuffling across his stumps to try and work Sreesanth away, was hit plumb in front. Sreesanth (3-0-15-2) and RP Singh (3-0-16-1) kept it full and just enough movement to have the batsmen wary.

Shane Watson opened his shoulders to strike the debutant spinner Padmanabhan Prasanth for two sixes over midwicket to raise the team fifty, and hammered a full toss over long-on to make it 18 off the eight over. But that was as good as it got for Watson, as Prasanth Parameswaran nailed a full delivery that crashed into leg stump.

At 64 for four, RR needed to consolidate. Their run rate was just over seven, so a few quiet overs could be played out. Instead Pinal Shah tried to be the hero only to miscue an attempted big hit off Brad Hodge s fourth ball to long-on (69 for five). Hodge did the trick for KTK, bowling Jacob Oram for 0 with one that skidded on and brushed Oram s pads and then adding Shane Warne who went for an expansive slog and dragged the ball back onto his stumps.

Hodge was also involved in the run-out of Ankeet Chavan, before he got Ashok Menaria (31) to slog to the deep. Sreesanth allowed just a single run in his final over, and the final wicket came when Nayan Doshi miscued Parameswaran to midwicket. RR just managed to avoid their lowest total of the season – 81, against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Brief Scores: RR 97 all out in 18.3 overs (Ashok Menaria 31, Shane Watson 20, Faiz Fazal 16; Brad Hodge 4 for 13, S Sreesath 2 for 16, Prasanth Parameswaran 2 for 20, RP Singh 1 for 17) vs KTK.

Full Scorecard

(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. He is the author of two books, The History of World Cup Cricket and Field of Dreams: The Story of the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)