Rajasthan Royals crowned IPL champions

Published: Monday, June 2, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Mumbai: What a fitting end to a 45-day cricketing feast. Rajasthan Royals held their nerve in a pressure cooker situation to seal the inaugural IPL title in the last ball before a jam packed D Y Patil Stadium in Navi mumbai on Sunday.

Warne-led Jaipur outfit chasing a competitive 164-run target got off to a solid start after the innovative Asnodkar got into the act but stuttered in the middle before Yusuf Pathan wrested the game from Super Kings with a blistering 39-ball 56. Pathan's knock left Royals with a not-so-diifficult equation of 8 runs in last over.

Warne (9*) and Tanvir (9*) were in the middle and Balaji bowled the eventful final over. Warne and Tanvir managed five runs in the first four balls before Tanvir drove a short of length ball to mid-wicket for a couple and finished the job with a pull in the final ball of the match.


Royals walked away with a hefty winner's cheque of Rs 4.8 crore while the R-up Chennai Super Kings have to do with Rs 2.4 crore prize money. Yusuf Pathan was adjudged as man of the match for his heroics with both bat and ball.

Earlier Chennai top-order batsmen batted sensibly on a two-paced wicket and sluggish outfield to help their side post a healthy 163/5.

Suresh Raina top-scored with a blistering 30-ball 43. Parthiv and Dhoni chipped in with invaluable 38 and 29 respectively.

Offie Yusuf Pathan battled Royals back in the game with a superb spell of 3/22 after Parthiv and Vidyut got off to a brisk start. Watson, who bowled a tidy second spell, claimed the vital wicket of Raina to finish with 1/29.

Skipper Warne shuffled his bowling resources skilfully. He bowled his seamers in short spells and rotated them around to a good measure.

Royals were in a spot of bother at 42/3 in seventh over before Yusuf turned the tables on Chennai with a whirlwind innings. The lusty hitter from Baroda feasted on the easy offerings from Murali and Balaji as the duo combined conceded 81 runs in their 8 overs.

He raised a rapidfire 65 runs in the company of Shane Watson (28 off 19). Yusuf's 39-ball knock was studded with three hits to the fence and four over it. The duo threatened to finish game early before Murali scripted a twist in tale. The wily craftsman from Lanka dismissed Watson and Kaif in his back-to-back overs as Royals slumped from 107/3 to 139/5.

Albie returned for his second spell to bowl 18th over of the innings and snared Jadeja caught Kapugedara at mid-on for the first ball duck and three balls later Yusuf failed to beat Raina's throw from point. However Warne and Tanvir ensured Royals home in the final ball of the match and tournament.

Opener Asnodkar played yet another unorthodox knock laced with innovative and inventive shots. The Goan played an uninhabited innings despite losing his partner Neeraj Patel (2) early on. Asnodkar struck 20-ball 28 inclusive of four boundaries before chipping a length ball from Morkel straight to Raina at point.

Chennai, asked to take guard first, got off to a ideal start with Parthiv and Vidyut forging a rapid 39-run stand in just over five overs. Parthiv looked confident at the outset working the ball around well playing with soft hands, rotating the strike interspersed with a odd boundary hit.

Vidyut shrugged off a shaky start with two stunning hits in the fourth over off Watson that fetched him 10 runs. The Tamil Nadu Ranji batsman who also holds the distinction of scoring a ton playing at No. 11, moved across and freed his arms to dispatch the ball to mid-off fence and two balls later slashed the short of length ball outside the off-stump line for a max over thirdman.

The two left-handed batsmen not being intimidated by the opposition nor the situation played sensibly. Vidyut took the extra risks while Parthiv played a percentage cricket.

Skipper Warne introduced the offie Yusuf Pathan in the sixth over and the move paid dividends when Yusuf had Vidyut caught Jadeja at deep mid-wicket.

Three overs later Yusuf dismissed Parthiv caught Akmal for 33-ball 38 inclusive of five boundary hits.

Albie Morkel promoted up the order joined Raina in the middle and the pair raised quickfire 31 runs in just three overs. The southpaws thrived on Warne and Yusuf.

However Yusuf had the last laugh when the South African miscued a slog sweep only to give a simple catch to gloveman Akmal.

Raina, who is in rich vein of form, continued in same vain and laid a fine platform for the middle-order batsmen to play freely in the death overs. His 30-ball knock included a boundary and two sixes. Dhoni's (29 off 17, 1X4&2X6s) rearguard action ensured Chennai a fighting score.

The Gladiators:

* Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals) with an awesome 472 runs and 17 wickets in the 16 games was an obvious choice for Man-of-the-Tournament award.

* Yusuf Pathan (39-ball 56, 3/22) earned Man-of-the-Match award for his all-round effort.

* Sohali Tanvir with 21 wickets in 13 games won the Purple Cap for plucking max wickets in the event.

* Shaun Marsh (Mohali Kings XI) with over 600 runs in 12 games received Orange Cap for topping the run-getters chart.

* Sreevats Goswami (B'lore Royal Challengers) was adjudged as Best U-19 player.

* Chennai Super Kings earned the 'Kingfisher Airlines Fair Play Award'


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