Royals rout Challengers by 65 runs

Rahul Dravid's 75 runs went in vain as Rajasthan Royals outperformed Bangalore Royal Challengers in all departments.

updated: May 23, 2008 12:10 IST
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New Delhi:

Rajasthan Royals continued with their winning streak and outperformed Bangalore Royal Challengers in all departments to beat them by 65 runs at the Sawai Mansingh in Jaipur.

With this win, Shane Warne's team is certain to enter the semi-finals of the DLF Indian Premier League. They continue to top the points table with 16 points.

Bangalore Royal Challengers on the other hand had a disappointing day. After having an ordinary outing with the ball, they struggled with the bat as well. Skipper Rahul Dravid (75) hammered a rock solid half-century but his efforts were not well supplemented by his teammates. It was a knock that spoke volumes about his value as a player but his teammates just failed to raise themselves up to the challenge. He's been under a lot of pressure and criticism for his team's dismal performance in the tournament.

None of the Bangalore batsmen really applied themselves and perished. At one stage it seemed they would repeat what Kolkata Knight Riders did against Mumbai Indians last night, but Dravid really saved them some blushes. But nothing should take away the credit from the Rajasthan bowlers who went out there to defend their total of 197 runs and attacked from the very start of the innings.

Rajasthan bowler Sohail Tanvir picked three wickets of J Arunkumar, Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble while Munaf Patel scalped T20 sensations Misbah-ul Haq and Cameron White for 10 runs. Siddharth Trivedi got rid of Jaques Kallis for 20 runs.

Captain Shane Warne then came and picked two wickets in successive deliveries. Devraj Patil and Praveen Kumar were his victims. Warne struck again when he took a stunning return catch to dismiss Zaheer Khan. With his three-wicket haul, Warne now becomes the proud owner of 'Purple Cap'.

Rahul Dravid's decision to bowl first backfired as his bowlers failed to pick wickets and restrict them to a small total. Their fielding was also very sloppy and missed quite a many catches.

Bangalore managed to pick just one wicket of Swapnil Asnodkar (50) after he put up a 100-run partnership with Graeme Smith for the first wicket. Anil Kumble took his wicket in the thirteenth over when he mis-hit a shot and was caught by Misbah at short third man.

Graeme Smith played the entire twenty overs and added 75 runs to the Rajasthan Royals. He was awarded with the 'Man of the Match' award. All-rounder Shane Watson, who came after Asnodkar's fall, supported him well and scored 46 runs.