Pune, May 8: Shane Watson's magnificent knock helps Rajasthan register a seven wicket win over hosts Pune Warriors with 22 balls to spare at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.
[Scorecard: Game 52; Pune Warriors Vs Rajasthan Royals]
Chasing a modest 126 to win, Royals lost two wickets early in the innings, as Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for a duck by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar in the second over of the innings.
Dravid also departed after scoring 14, while Shane Watson and Ashok Menaria played a vital knock to rebuild the innings, and play sensible cricket as they needed just over 70 runs to win when Dravid got out.
Shane Watson scored a 51-ball 90 to guide Rajasthan to victory as he added 56 runs alongwith Menaria for the third wicket to help the team reach the target comfortably. His innings included 10 boundaries and 4 huge hits to the stands.
Pune Warriors registered another loss in IPL 5 and are on the verge of crashing out, as they need to win all the remaining matches.
With this win, Rajasthan jump to the fourth spot, as they have secured 12 points off 12 games.
Pune Warriors Innings Report: Rajasthan Royals keen on maintaining their winning streak, restricted Pune Warriors to 125/6 off 20 overs, to fancy their changes against the deflated side played at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.
After winning the toss, Ganguly-led Warriors managed to score 56/2 in 10 overs, as they lost both their openers for 35 runs. With Uthappa and Majumdar staying for a while, as they added 42 runs for the third wicket.
Shaun Tait and Stuart Binny were impressive as they conceded just 13 and 12 off four and three overs respectively. Tait got the first breakthrough as he removed Ganguly for 14 in the 6th over while Binny followed it up striking in his very first ball of the innings. Tait took all the accolades for grabbing 3/13 off 4 overs, a classy performance, that helped Rajasthan take an upper hand over Warriors.
Within a span of four deliveries, Warriors lost both their openers. As usual, Pune struggled to score runs as Royals' bowling attack was very effective, helping them to restrict Pune to a low score.
Sourav Ganguly (14), Michael Clarke (16), Robin Uthappa (13), Smith (17), Angelo Mathews (11) and Manhas (10) all disappointed as Warriors' batting failed miserably yet again. Youngster Anustup Majumdar's 20 ball 30 was the highlight of the innings, as he drew a lot of attention, and looked very promising.
Credit goes to Rajasthan Royals for their clinical approah as they restricted Pune to 125/6 in 20 overs.
Pune Warriors India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Murali Kartik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mithun Manhas, Ashish Nehra, Wayne Parnell, Angelo Mathews, Steve Smith, Robin Uthappa (wk), Michael Clarke, Anustup Majumdar
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Shane Watson, Shaun Tait, Dishant Yagnik (wicketkeeper), Owais Shah, Ankeet Chavan, Johan Botha, Ashok Menaria, Siddarth Trivedi, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Sudhir Asnani (India)\
Third Umpire: Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
Match Referee: Graeme Labrooy (Sri Lanka)