Shane Watson blitz inspires Rajasthan Royals to a 8-wicket victory

Shane Watson clobbered the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers to score 98 off just 53 deliveries © IANS

By Prakash Govindasreenivasan

Jaipur: Apr 27, 2013

Shane Watson played a devastating knock for the second time in two games, and this time in a winning cause as Rajasthan Royals beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8-wickets in the Indian Premier League.

Watson, who scored a splendid century century against the Chennai Super Kings carried his good form forward and scored an unbeaten 98 off just 53 deliveries. His knock was laced with 13 fours and four sixes. He found able support in Dravid who managed 36 off 35 deliveries himself.

On a wicket that seemed to have something for the faster bowlers, Dale Steyn’s start gave Kumar Sangakkara hopes of another upset. Steyn bowled a few brilliant deliveries at fiery pace to trouble the Rajasthan batsmen. He got rid of Ajinkya Rahane early on that prompted Sangakkara to give him his third over in a row.

But Dravid and Watson put all their experience on the line and saw off Steyn’s first spell to consolidate later. Between the two, Watson played the role of the aggressor and dispatched even marginal loose delivery to the fence. The duo marched on to 53 for one at the halfway stage with Rajasthan still needing 92 from the remaining 60 deliveries. But a poor over from Mishra followed that put Rajasthan back on top. He went for 17 runs as both Watson and Dravid slammed a six each. The duo added 74 runs for the second wicket.

Dravid was throwing his bat at almost everything and was dismissed in a rather uncharacteristic manner when he was caught at deep midwicket.

Watson brought up his half-century, his 10th in the Indian Premier League, when a top-edge flew past Sangakkara to the third man boundary. He followed it up with a smart shot, guiding the ball to the same area for the same result. He added 10 more runs in the over to bring down the required rate considerably.

The shoulders began to drop in the field and Watson was in a hurry to finish things off. His eyes lit up when he say a short-pitched delivery coming his way from Thisara Perera in the 16th over and gave it mighty heave to clear the deep midwicket boundary. The over fetched two more boundaries as the asking rate went below run-a-ball for the first time in the innings.

Watson wrapped up the game in the 18th over with a six and two fours off three deliveries to guide his side to an eight-wicket victory. With this win Rajasthan displace Sunrisers Hyderabad at the third spot in the points table.

Read the first innings report here

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 144 for 9 in 20 overs  (Darren Sammy 60, Amit Mishra 21; James Faulkner 5 for 20) lost to Rajasthan Royals 146 for 2 in 17.5 overs (Shane Watson 98*, Dravid 36; Dale Steyn 1 for 15) by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match: James Faulkner

Full Scorecard

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(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)