HYDERABAD: Johan Botha smashed 67 off just 47 balls as Rajasthan Royals opened their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with a convincing eight-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers.
Deccan could only manage 137 for eight off their quota with no batsman able to stay in the middle for too long. Captain Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed for naught as he edged his third delivery off Siddharth Trivedi (three for fifteen) to the wicket-keeper. Rajasthan bowlers displayed superb form with Amit Singh also taking three wickets and captain Shane Warne grabbing a brace.
In reply, Botha steered his team to the convincing win, smashing eight fours and one six. None of the Deccan bowler’s posed any threat to their opposition with Dale Styen being the only wicket-taker claiming two for 18.
Thriller in Chennai
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by two runs in a nail-biting opening match of the IPL in Chennai on Friday.
Kolkata needed four runs off the final ball of the match with Rajat Bhatia facing. However, Tim Southee bowled a yorker and prevented the big hit that Kolkata needed to seal maximum points for his side.
Chennai had scored 153 for four with Srikkanth Anirudha top-scoring with 64. In reply, KKR openers Jacques Kallis and Manvinder Bisla started strongly, scoring at more than seven runs an over. But left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati dismissed Bisla on 27 and the run-rate slowed down. However, the scoreboard kept ticking with Kallis before he was sent packing at 54.
IPL’s most expensive player and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir was removed for just one, leaving his team at 120 for five with three overs remaining. However, Kolkata could only manage 151 for seven as CSK registered the win.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.