Royals chase down 197 to beat winless Chargers
Jaipur, April 17 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals came up trumps in a thrilling finish to a high scoring game against the Deccan Chargers and went top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a five-wicket win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here Tuesday.
In an amazing chase, Royals reached a stiff 197-run target from a seemingly difficult situation to get 74 runs from the last six overs. Australian Brad Hodge, the highest run-getter in the shortest format of the game, led the assault hitting South African Dale Steyn for four fours in a row in the 17th over and the needed 11 off the last over.
Wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik, last-minute replacement for injured Shreevats Goswami, hit Steyn for two more fours in the last over to see the Royals home with two balls to spare.
Skipper Rahul Dravid set the tempo for the Royals' chase with a quickfire 42 off 24 balls (7x4, 1x6) before being dismissed by Daniel Christian. He shared a 62-run opening partnership with Ajinkya Rahane in 5.5 overs.
Rahane, who hit a blistering century in the previous match against Bangalore, once again threatened to take the game away from Deccan, but fell to leg-spinner Amit Mishra in his bid to keep track of the required run-rate.
Mishra, who had earlier dismissed Ashok Menaria, quickly got rid of the dangerous Owais Shah to reduce Rajasthan to 135 for four in the 16th over.
Firmly in control, Deccan once again threw the match away thanks to some sloppy fielding.
Johan Botha was dropped by Bharat Chipli but the South African could'nt make the Chargers pay for it as he fell in the very next over.
Then Hodge took over and his 48 off 21 balls saw the Royals through.
Earlier, Chargers got off to a rollicking start as Sangakkara and Shikhar Dhawan put on the highest opening partnership of IPL 5, cracking 94 runs in 10.4 overs. Sangakkara played a captain's knock scoring 44 off 32 balls with five fours and a six. Dhawan scored his first fifty (52, 43 balls, 8x4)of this IPL edition.
Chargers, who are yet to win a match this season, elected to bat on a placid track, were well served by Delhi's Shikhar Dhawan and Jean-Paul Duminy, who came in for Cameron White. South African Duminy slammed 58 off 26 balls with five sixes and three fours.
Australian Daniel Christian (29) came to the party forging the second big partnership of the innings, 88 with Duminy.
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