A superb 21-ball 48 from Brad Hodge powered Rajasthan Royals to a five-wicket win over Deccan Chargers who lost their third successive match in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Deccan’s hopes of registering their first win in the tournament were raised after JP Duminy and Shikhar Dhawan helped them register 196 for two before the bowlers failed to defend the competitive total.
Hodge, who came in at 121 for three, hit six fours and two sixes as Rajasthan completed the job with two balls to spare. Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane had earlier given their side the perfect start in pursuit of a daunting target.
While Dravid hit a 24-ball 42, Rahane was dismissed after making 44. Amit Mishra then threatened to spark a collapse, claiming three wickets, but failed to dismantle Hodge who completed the job. Mishra finished with three for 32 but the rest of the bowlers, barring Ankit Sharma, were all pummelled for more than 10 an over.
Earlier, Deccan were indebted to Dhawan and Duminy for the decent total. Captain Kumar Sangakkara put on 94 for the opening wicket with Dhawan before both were dismissed in the space of 14 runs. But that was the last success for the Rajasthan bowlers as Duminy and Daniel Christian put on 88 for the unbroken third wicket.
The win was Rajasthan Royals’ fourth in six matches in the IPL.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.