Deccan Chargers v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012, Hyderabad May 18, 2012

Rajasthan crash out as batting flops


Deccan Chargers 128 for 5 (Akshat Reddy 42, Trivedi 2-20) beat Rajasthan Royals 126 for 8 (Dravid 39, Mishra 2-20) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rajasthan Royals needed to succeed in their final two matches to have a chance of qualifying. They would have expected to win the first of those: against Deccan Chargers who had been victorious in only two matches of 14 this season, and only won once in 18 matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Instead, they were knocked out of the playoff race by a stifling spell of legspin bowling from Amit Mishra which sucked the momentum out of Royals' innings, tying them to their lowest total of the season.

After Royals chose to bat, Chargers were their usual woeful self in the Powerplay overs, putting down three catches to reprieve each of Royals' top three. Royals' highest run-scorer this season, Ajinkya Rahane, was dropped in the first over by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, but Chargers weren't made to pay as Dale Steyn had Rahane edging to slip in the next over.

Royals have won the three games Shane Watson has fired in this season, and lost the three he failed in, highlighting how important he has become to the side's fortunes since his arrival from the West Indies. Watson, too, was given a life in the fifth over, as Shikhar Dhawan couldn't latch on to a diving effort at midwicket. On the very next delivery, Ashish Reddy let a drive from Rahul Dravid through his fingers at mid-on, conceding a boundary. The over ended with Watson blasting a straight six and Chargers demoralised.

Mishra lifted them with his first ball. It drifted in and spun away and Watson ended up playing inside the line to be bowled. The biggest wicket had been taken, and in Mishra's next over, he got another breakthrough as a quicker googly left Stuart Binny bowled and clueless. He continued to get plenty of spin through his spell, mixing in googlies with his legspinners and bowling the odd delivery from wide of the stumps to change the angle.

Even Chargers' fielding lifted after Mishra's intervention, with both the catching and ground fielding improving. Dravid's fight came to an end in the 12th over as he chopped a wide delivery to little-known Queensland batsman Chris Lynn, who nearly shelled it before grabbing it on his second effort.

The acceleration for Royals now had to come from Owais Shah, playing in place of the injured Brad Hodge. He wasn't at his most fluent today though, struggling against the accuracy of Chargers' bowling. It wasn't just that Steyn was proving unhittable, even the Indian contingent of Gony and Veer Pratap Singh kept the batsmen mostly down to singles.

Only 65 runs came in the final ten overs, which meant Chargers were in with a chance of ending Royals' chances and also their horror run at home. Shikhar Dhawan continued to be one of the bright spots of Chargers' campaign, with only Chris Gayle scoring more than him this season. He and 21-year-old Akshat Reddy added 60 in seven overs to put Chargers on course.

Midway through the innings Chargers were so relaxed that their coach Darren Lehmann and stand-in captain Cameron White were exchanging a joke in the dug-out. It wasn't a cruise to victory though as Reddy and White were dismissed in the space of seven deliveries, after which the boundaries proved elusive. Siddharth Trivedi choked the runs, giving away only 20 in four overs, and memories of the match-winning situations that Chargers have slipped from this season come back. There was no heartbreak for the fans however as Ashish Reddy slapped a couple of boundaries to finish off Royals.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    if royals today will win so can make playoffs

  • Vinod on May 19, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    dravid captains and the team fails to qualify for the next round. familiar?

  • shailesh on May 19, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    @bismoy: its not that Laxman did not opt to play IPL this time.. the reality is that no team picked him (even though he reduced his base price)!!!!!

  • shailesh on May 19, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @Omkar Oak: RR is out of Playoffs mate. they will end up maximum on 16 points. already 4 teams have more points than that (DD, KKR, MI, CSK)..

  • bismoy on May 19, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    RR has played well considering fact that apart from Shane watson,no one will make to international 20-20 side of there respective team.

    Fact of matter is dravid can be never be expected to win a 20-20 match on his own,He should not have played ipl like laxman.

    Rahane is suprise of season in ipl5.

  • P on May 19, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    For the sake of Dravid, I have been cheering for RR. if this is to be his last IPL, then it will be real sad for all of us. Can a miracle happen again?

  • yogi on May 19, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    One of the best human being on Mother Earth is going to play his last match in Jaipur against MI. Hope they ( the Rajasthan Cricket Board) give him a proper farewell.You will always remain in our hearts. Hail Dravid. No one can fill the void created by the great Dravid.God bless us all.

  • yogi on May 19, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Hard luck Dravid.In spite of losing & not qualifying for the playoffs, we are extremely proud of you. You have transformed a bunch of non entities into a pack of fighters.That you are first in the fair play table shows what a gentleman you are. In hindsight two matches against CSK , one against DD could have been won. Anyways now the pressure if off us., we can enjoy the remaining matches without tension.

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Rajasthan Royals are still in with a chance .... if delhi beat Punjab , DC Beat RCB and eventually if RR beat Mumbai Indians..they have a very good chance due to their positive runrate .... all thse RR Fans u r still in it...all d best

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    I was so hoping that RR would reach the final four. After winning a trophy in IPL I, RRs have disappointed for 4 straight IPLs. I don't know how long I can keep supporting them. May be I'll lose interest in IPL. I am going to cheer for Gilly now. Hope they make it through to the final four. Big match tomorrow.

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