Rajasthan Royals v Pune Warriors, IPL, Jaipur May 13, 2012

Chandila hat-trick keeps Rajasthan in race


Rajasthan Royals 170 for 4 (Rahane 61, Watson 58) beat Pune Warriors 125 for 9 (Smith 37, Chandila 4-13) by 45 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

When Rahul Dravid of Rajasthan Royals was asked at the toss to name the changes to his line-up, he paused for a few seconds before giving up trying to recollect the second spinner. Ajit Chandila ensured that his captain and the rest of the world weren't going to forget his name. The little-known offspinner from Haryana responded with a hat-trick in only his second game, reducing Pune Warriors to a train wreck early in their chase of 171. Warriors extended their losing streak to eight - the worst in IPL history - while Royals stayed in the hunt for the playoffs.

It proved a masterstroke by Dravid tossing the new ball to Chandila. Warriors didn't know what to expect from the tall spinner, only two first-class matches old. With a run-up of barely a few steps, and a languid action to boot, Chandila tossed it up at such an agonisingly slow pace that it took an eternity for the ball to land. Jesse Ryder opted to hammer him out of the attack but ended up mis-hitting it to Shane Watson pedaling back at mid-on.

Sourav Ganguly tried to nudge the next delivery but the ball dribbled back towards the wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami who broke the stumps before Ganguly could ground his bat. Chandila struck with the first ball of his second over, drawing Robin Uthappa forward and beating him on the drive before Goswami whipped off the bails. Chandila's split hat-trick was all the more glossy because the victims were international batsmen. It was the seventh hat-trick in IPL history and the first of this edition.

Chandila had time to sneak in another wicket, off a simple caught and bowled to get rid of Anustup Majumdar, and finished with figures of 4 for 13. Warriors were tottering at 26 for 4, a position from which they never recovered from. Royals never allowed a partnership to get past 34, they conceded just 11 boundaries in the innings and lit up an otherwise drab phase after the hat-trick with a jaw-dropping fielding effort at the boundary by Johan Botha and Ajinkya Rahane to get rid of Rahul Sharma. Botha caught it at the edge of the rope at long-off and relayed it to an alert Rahane who claimed the catch.

Royals batted Warriors out of the match thanks to half-centuries by Watson and Rahane. Ganguly returned to lead Warriors but he and his team-mates let themselves down with a flat performance in the field that allowed the Watson-Rahane partnership to flourish.

The urgency in the running between the wickets picked up when the pair came together. Rahane in particular was impressive in his calling as he pushed the ball to the slower men in the deep, starting with Ganguly, and the few extra seconds they took to get to the ball cost Warriors extra runs.

Watson biffed boundaries through his favoured on-side region. He began with a slog over midwicket off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, before pounding consecutive sixes off Murali Kartik, one of which was a full toss clubbed over the second tier at deep midwicket. As the pitch was on the slower side, Watson's powerful bat-speed gave his shots more velocity. He punished the spinners with powerful pulls and drives, fetching two free boundaries via misfields. Steven Smith, known for his acrobatic saves at the boundary, overran the ball at deep midwicket, while Kartik too let one slip between his legs.

Watson sped to his fifty with a clipped four to deep square leg and a six over deep midwicket off Jesse Ryder. However, he played all over a yorker from Ashish Nehra, leaving his team at a healthy 123 for 2 in the 15th over. Warriors were guilty of not bowling to their field, bowling half volleys on the pads with the fine leg up. Rahane proceeded towards his fifty with wristy clips and punches through the off side. His knock ensured that Royals didn't lose their way after Watson's departure. Minutes after the chase got underway, the game was all but won by Royals.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Swapnoneel on May 14, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    @Brit_freakster: LOL! You should be in CID!

  • Sony on May 14, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Pune did the biggest mistake by choosing ganguly. And they proved it was not an one off mistake by choosing clarke. Keep excellent t20 specialists in bench and play with a guy who retired from t20 internationals coz he himself thinks he is a poor t20 player. The decision makers in pune warriors does not even have basic common sense?

  • Satish on May 14, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Lol.. Dada made lots of fans out here with his exclusion of Tamim.. Usually 15-20 among 100 will bash Dada and 30 will be hardcore supporters.. Now, Hardly 10 supporters and 60 bashers in.. Does he deserve all these? YES! A captaincy which is hardly inspiring and a batting performance which will never merit a place if not a captain.. Had he shown thee aggressiveness which he showed in denying that he will rest for three games, they could have won atleast a couple of games more..

  • ARIF3011 on May 14, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Sourav Ganguly when failed as India's captain he was dropped from the team - the blame went to Greg chappell. Whole nation started abusing Greg, and all praise were for Dada. Greg was asked to leave. IPL started. Sourav led KKR to disaster up to a point that KKR dropped him. SRK was blamed for that, all praise were for Dada. New team came into IPL - PWI. Midway through the season Sourav joined it, and did not do well. In absence of ailing Yuvraj this year, Sourav became captian, led them to biggest disaster of IPL history. He has now planned to drop himself. No one is balmed so far. He has informed Sahara about him becoming "mentor only" from next season. Finally Dada found a position for himself where he feels he can do better - is he sure?

  • Mohammad on May 14, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    RR always producing some good players in all IPL versions, they produce sohail tanveer, r. jadija, rehany and now this guy.

  • Temujin on May 14, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    To Naths: Naths, Ganguly's dismssal is not a run-out, as he was not trying for a run, he was unsure where the ball was and accidentally stepped out of his crease. The ball may hit the batsman's pads or body or whatever can not ruled out a chance of stumping.

  • S on May 14, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Definitely Chandila did a great job. But technically IT WAS NOT A HAT-TRICK. Please clarify me if I am wrong. Gangully was not stumped. He was RUN OUT. The ball hit him on pads and then on bat. So he can't be given stumped out. Consequently that run out can't contribute to the hat-trick at all. Again my intention is not to take away credit from Chandila, but to establish the fact.

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    For many years Ganguly fought for a place in teams, he fought to take full control over own team, so he had to apply his master plans & strategies, which costs his teams in big way as those were selfish things, previously KKR now PWI, Ganguly is busy to grab the most important batting order, playing safely and slowly in powerplays for few runs to prove himself costs his team, he was a great player but the time is over, even Lara, Hayden once were dangerous players but their time is over, age does matter in cricket specially in t20, its upto franchises to understand that.

  • Brit_freakster on May 14, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Huge conspiracy against Pune and DADA in IPL...how is it that Pune plays 2-3 games more than KKR or DD...just to tire them out..so that a tired bunch cannot perform...also crucial umpiring decisions went against Pune in crunch matches..which otherwise PW would have won easily...huge conspiracy here...but Pune will be back with a bang next time...watch out!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    At the start of the tournament Sourav Ganguly's fame was huge, he had all the support he needed, from Bangladesh, from Bengal even he was thought to become the next coach for the Tigers( thanks God that didn't happen). Now, at the near end of the tournament, Ganguly's fame has deflated, termed as selfish like SRT, cursed in Bangladesh, don't know about Bengal. Fate of Sourav Ganguly rest on his hands. I believe its adieu from cricket.

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