Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 29, 2013

Watson, Samson keep Royals' citadel intact


Rajasthan Royals 173 for 6 (Samson 63, Watson 41) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 171 for 6 (Gayle 34, Watson 3-22) by 4 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

For the second time this season, Rajasthan Royals promoted a wicketkeeper to No. 3, and stunned the opposition to set up a win. Chasing 172, with Shane Watson, Brad Hodge and Owais Shah yet to bat, Kerala's 18-year-old Sanju Samson scored 63 off 41, leaving Royals 56 to get off 34 balls, which they chased, but not without the mandatory inexplicable drama that is the IPL's USP. Watson, who left the chase all but finished, had been instrumental in keeping Royal Challengers, who have now lost all their four away matches, down with the wickets of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli among his three.

The game began with Royals presenting Gayle spin when hostile short bowling has only managed to trouble him. Gayle raced away, but Watson got him for 34 off 16 with an innocuous-looking delivery angling away from him. From 44 for 1 in four overs, Royal Challengers went without a boundary for 6.1 overs. The run rate fell, and when AB de Villiers and Kohli tried to correct it, they both holed out.

With the innings not going anywhere, R Vinay Kumar gave them a fighting target with three sixes of James Faulkner in the final over, two of those off slower balls. Faulkner had had a good birthday until then with two catches a run-out. Vinay would try to turn the game around in the last over of the next innings too, but that's for later.

In the chase, Royals stayed with their plan of using Watson lower down the order. Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane opened, and got them off to a swift enough start, but it was Samson who pinched Royal Challengers. There might have been the odd slog, but a major part of the innings relied on cricketing shots. The standout was successive sixes over extra cover to welcome Murali Kartik, who would have hoped he had not recovered from his illness in time for this match.

Those sixes took Royals to 60 for 2 in 7.2 overs, and the chase was on its way. Watson played the second fiddle while Samson went at it, reaching 25 off 21 by the time Samson fell. Watson and Hodge went about with the pursuit coolly until Hodge seemed to have killed off the chase with two sixes off Ravi Rampaul in the 18th over. If you thought 18 off 15 was the done thing, though, you haven't watched enough of IPL.

Watson top-edged RP Singh in the next over, but six off six was easy enough. However, Hodge tried to finish it off in one hit, and was bowled to leave five to get off four. Owais Shah then managed to get run out at the non-danger end, and we were smack in the middle of an IPL implosion. Back to the same last-over characters: Vinay and Faulkner.

Faulkner took the single, and then Stuart Binny pulled a four to beat the team that carries his home city's name.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ramesh on April 30, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    rr team great chance to makeit to playoff Next away game against kkr

  • syed on April 30, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Kohli's captaincy cost RCB this match Henriques should completed his quota of 4 ovrs its seem that RR batsmens had problem while playing him but unfortunately kohli missed field awerness by sticking to preplanned things

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Kudos to captain Dravid

  • Prashanth on April 30, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Sunrisers will thrash RR at hyderabad !!

  • Tushar on April 30, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Too many big stars and a bad coach were the primary reasons why Dravid couldn't be as good a captain as Dhoni or Ganguly. But he is proving to be a taskmaster everytime he comes onto the field. Really wish they can win another 4 matches and make it to the Top 4. Though RR usually falter in the second half of the tournament and end up at 5th or 6th always, it will stil lbe very painful to see them not make it to the top 4 this time...

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Which team you choose...No 4 foreign player restriction 1.Mike Hussy,G Gambhir,Watson,Rahul Dravid,E Morgon,AT Rayudu,Dinesh Karthik,Dale Styne,Faulkner,P Kumar,Narin 2.Chris Galye,Tendulkar,Kohli,ABD,Dhoni,KA Pollard,Sir Ravindra Jadeja,YK Pathan,Dwayne Bravo,Aswin,Malinga

  • Madhavan on April 30, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    High time to replace Sachin baby with Rahane.Dravid should give a chance to Sachin baby at the top of the order.

  • Shamsher on April 30, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    One of the best wins for RR.. Were under pressure Chasing such a good target but done everything perfectly all right. Just wanted to see face of critics who said Dravid is not a good caption. He encourages the young players and the thing that i love about RR is the way they play as a unit.

    They are familiar with the strengths and weakness and Dravid has mar shelled his troops very well like Bringing watson in to bowling...Samson 1st down.. Sreesanth bowled really well except his first over [as no can cant bowl well when Gayle is in destruction mode]

    Would like to see Samson opening with Dravid and Rahane down the order as we need good start and some one like Rahane to anchor the innings in the middle.

  • Ashif on April 30, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    I think i found out why RCB have lost all their away matches.

    Gayle at home:- 430-odd runs Gayle away:- 50-odd runs at an average of 14

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    oh RAHUL bhai you are hurting me with your brilliancy in capatincy.. the 2007 worldcup disaster let some peoples mouth open and comment .. wen ever they are worster than worst.. wen ever they looses tours worstly.. they tries to comparing with this .. shameless.. ANY WAY IAM LOOKING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP UNDER RAHUL BHAI'S CAPTAINCY .. if anybody got any doubts about that yesterdays match will be the answer.. about kohlis reaction on mumbai spectators .. previously yuvraj , and sehwag also faced the same situation.. people need to change their mindset.. support your team but no need to abuse the opposite teams, ,, kohli dear be calm yaar its not about getting a tsunami start to career. but its the question of how far it has taken to... be concentrate on that ..best xample is vinod kambli .wonderful and great start . but what happend. . u r the future of india .be calm be cool.. open secret of msd success..