Rajasthan Royals' Shane Watson smashes first century of IPL 2013 against Chennai Super Kings

This was also Shane Watson’s first hundred in Twenty20 cricket © IANS (File Photo)

By Jaideep Vaidya

Chennai: Apr 22, 2013
 
Shane Watson was in the groove at the MA Chidambaram and danced his way to record the first century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013, as Rajasthan Royals posted a daunting target of 186 for the Chennai Super Kings.
 
IPL 6 had seen two Super Overs, two hat-tricks and a handful last-over finishes. What was missing was a century as we entered match No 30 of the tournament. Watson took care of that as he smashed his way to 101 off just 61 deliveries, including six fours and as many maximums.
 
Watson had aggregated just 99 runs in the three Test matches he played during the recent Border Gavaskar Trophy in India. Today, he got two more runs than that tally in just one innings. Michael Clarke, resting his back in Australia, must be wondering why on earth this Watson did not show up earlier.

The right-handed batsman brought out the best of his pull shots and drives on both sides of the ground that left the hosts gasping. Chennai’s hero and the otherwise indomitable Ravindra Jadeja was picked out for special treatment. The left-arm spinner was pummelled for 45 runs in his three overs, most of which were scored by Watson.
 
Rajasthan opened with Watson and Ajinkya Rahane as usual. The duo put on a solid 71-run stand to get the Royals off to a good start before Ravichandran Ashwin stepped in.

In the eighth over of the innings, Ashwin pitched the ball on a good length outside off-stump; the ball took an awkward bounce that surprised Rahane who had no clue what to do with it. He played a reactive cross-batted defensive stroke and the ball clipped the edge and knocked down middle stump.
 
The off-spinner got his second wicket soon after when Dishant Yagnik went for a sweep and found the top edge. The ball went high in the air and gave enough time for Ashwin to get under it and take a simple catch at short mid-wicket.
 
Rahul Dravid, in fine form this season with two half-centuries, was flummoxed by Bravo’s slower one to make it 116 for three. However, Stuart Binny provided Watson the required assistance as the duo upped the ante after a temporary lull in between.
 
Watson brought up his hundred in the 18th over, but was dismissed off the very next ball to give Bravo his second wicket. But Binny did not stop there as he carted the West Indian’s slower delivery over mid-wicket for half-a-dozen.
 
Binny took Rajasthan to 185 for four which would be a stiff chase on this sluggish surface. Chennai have their work cut out going into the innings break.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 185 for 4 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 101, Stuart Binny 36*; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 20, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 36) vs Chennai Super Kings.

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