The Australian duo of Shaun Tait and Shane Watson single handedly carried former champions Rajasthan Royals to a convincing seven-wicket win over the Pune Warriors yesterday.
Tait’s pace and accuracy meant that Warriors were restricted to just 125 for six off their quota. Seven Pune batsmen got into double figures but none was able to take the attack to the opposition as Tait captured three for 13 off his four-over quota.
In reply, Rajasthan lost Ajinkya Rahane for no score in the second over but Watson, who scored 90 off just 51 balls, took the Pune bowlers to the cleaners, smashing 10 fours and four sixes.
Watson’s effort meant that no other Royals batsmen needed to contribute significantly as the former champions won with 22 balls to spare. Watson was particularly aggressive against Murali Karthik and Ashish Nehra, the spinner giving away 32 runs off his three overs while the fast-bowler was carted away for 33 runs off his three overs.
Sourav Ganguly tried seven bowlers to dislodge Watson but, following a poor show with the bat, the result was all but sealed in favour of Rajasthan.
This was the Royals’ sixth win in 12 matches and keeps them in the top half while Pune Warriors’ ninth loss in their 13th match meant they languish in eighth place, three points above bottom-placed Deccan Chargers.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.