Botha guides Royals home against Chargers

Published: Saturday, April 9, 2011, 19:19 [IST]
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Botha guides Royals home against Charger

The start to the Rajasthan Royals innings was as robust as their opponents the Deccan Chargers. Opening with Rahul Dravid, Amit Paunikar played some blazing shots up front, knocking two fours of Pragyan Ojha in the first over and two off Dale Steyn in the second.

Dravid was more circumspect and faced 7 balls before getting off the mark, while Ishant Sharma conceded just 2 runs in his first over. Then Dravid hit his stride, striking a four off Daniel Christian in the 4th over as the Royals moved onto 27/0.

Ishant Sharma pegged back the run rate with some tight short-of-a-length bowling and as the pressure mounted Steyn had Paunikar caught behind for 20 off 19 balls. The Royals were 31/1 in 5.4 overs. Then Johan Botha joined forces with Dravid to take their side to over 50 in the 9th over.

Leg-break Amit Mishra came onto the bowl the 10th over and conceded just 4 runs. Then two overs later, Botha was dropped off the same bowler at backward of point. After 12 overs, the Royals had scaled to 77/1. Then Botha brought up the fifty partnership with a four off Steyn, before Dravid was bowled for 28 off 35 balls and the Royals were 83/2 in 12.5 overs.

Ross Taylor soon cut loose, clobbering Mishra for a four and then a six as the Royals moved past 100. At the end of 16 overs, the Royals needed 32 runs off 24 balls. Then Dale Steyn bowled a tight 17th over, giving away just 2 runs. Then Botha and Taylor teamed up to knock 15 runs off Ishant in the 18th over, reducing the equation to 15 needed off 2 overs.

Then Botha got into the act, smashing a four, a six and running two doubles before striking the winning four. The Royals had won by 8 wickets with 7 balls to spare.

Oneindia Cricket

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