Rajasthan v Pune, IPL 2013, Jaipur May 5, 2013

Royals jump to fourth after big chase

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Rajasthan Royals 182 for 5 (Rahane 67, Dravid 58, Parnell 3-27) beat Pune Warriors 178 for 4 (Uthappa 54, Finch 45) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Sawai Mansingh Stadium continued to remain a fortress for Rajasthan Royals, though it came close to being breached by Pune Warriors during a high-scoring clash on Sunday. Royals moved to No. 4 in the IPL points table, their openers Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane guiding a challenging chase with half-centuries, and Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson chipping in with crucial cameos to help sneak their team home in the final over. The sixth straight win at home for Royals was a seventh consecutive loss for Warriors, who need to get their bowling in order to spoil a party or two this season.

The dew was a factor in Jaipur, but Rahul Sharma's long-hops in a game-changing 17th over could not be blamed on the environment alone. With 43 needed off 24 balls, he gifted a short ball outside off to Binny, who promptly slashed it past point. Two more short deliveries later, Binny pulled the next one over the deep midwicket boundary. Samson faced his first ball with 28 needed off 16, and began imperiously, showing no signs of nerves, driving Wayne Parnell on the up and then running him past third man for successive boundaries. Binny took charge, dispatching a length ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six in the penultimate over and squeezing Parnell past mid-on for four to seal victory when one run was needed off two balls.

Dravid surprised a few by walking out to open instead of Shane Watson during Royals' chase of 179, but took the lead in delivering a brisk start that was the foundation for his team's successful overhaul of Warriors' score. He punched Bhuvneshwar for two boundaries through point in the opening over, then targeted Krishnakant Upadhyaya for three fours to three different parts of the ground. The best shot of his innings was an inside-out drive for four off Angelo Mathews, and he had a straight six up his sleeve off Rahul Sharma shortly before holing out for 58. It was part of a 98-run opening stand with Rahane, in 71 balls.

Rahane will feel a little hard done to have missed out on a place in the Champions Trophy squad, and his latest knock ended an unsatisfactory run of scores over the last few matches for him. He played the supporting role to his captain, but took charge in the 14th over off Mathews, helping snatch 21, including two fours and a sweetly-timed six over extra cover. Not one to derive a lot of thrill playing cross-batted shots, Rahane dragged a couple from outside off stump against the Warriors seamers, one of them ending up as a flat six. When he fell, he left Binny with a task he's become quite familiar with this season, as a finisher.

On a good track to bat on, Robin Uthappa had given Warriors a real shot at victory with a second-successive half-century. He is known to have worked hard this season, having lost 17 kilos to get in shape. Together with Aaron Finch, with whom he added 97, Uthappa took advantage of some sloppy Royals bowling that included a series of wides down the leg side. He middled the ball, and Mitchell Marsh ended the innings on a high, cruising to an unbeaten 35 off 21 balls. It marked a second straight improved performance with the bat from Warriors, but wasn't enough to rescue their bowlers.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 6, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    I think Cooper is more like a bowler in the team as his batting may not be needed. So, if he is failing with the ball, I would get in an impact bowler like Tait or Fidel and beg them to not bowl freebies like wides and noballs. Sreesanth for Trivedi would be a good addition too. Those are the changes I'm looking at. Sreesanth started very strongly. But started to try and bowl 6 different balls in an over and then faded-off. He should just try and put the ball in the right spot ball after ball and take it from there. Next, I really think we don't need the services of Cooper's batting with Sanju and Baby in the team. Time for Tait or Fidel in the place of Cooper. I would never trade Hodge even for a Dravid. Hodge is just priceless. That should be quite a strong batting line-up and in bowling we will have Sree, Tait or Fidel, Faulkner, Watson, Chandila, Binny. That is a very well balanced team. What else Dravid wants? Halla Bol Halla Bol.......

  • rocknrola on May 6, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    I think Owais Shah and Tait should replace Hodge and Cooper for next match.

  • pksaspk on May 6, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    PWI..Team management must check ..rafi Gomes and parvesh rassal..domestic records! why they not give a chance! poor team management and support staff!!

  • Naresh28 on May 6, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Ajinka reminds me of Ganguly albeit a right hander. Goes deep back in his crease and that back lift.Timing is good. My only wish is this guy put on a bit of muscle. He is definitely an Indian team prospect. He seems to be under Dravids tutelage and I hope he learns things from him. Just the right guy for him.

  • dummy4fb on May 6, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    1. Congrats to RR for their determination and involvement in Cricket 2. Loved thoroughly watching Dravid playing disciplined shots in T20 3. Would have welcomed if Binny was given Man of the match award, as he withstood the complete winning pressure on him. 4. Will salute BCCI selection committe if they re-consider taking in Rahane for CT in England.

  • dummy4fb on May 6, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    I wonder y the pune warriors were nt including Wayne Parnell..see how he performed yesterday...Outstanding Figures of 3/27(4 overs).Well Done Parnell.

  • analyseabhishek on May 6, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Watching Ajinkya in this match made one wonder exactly why he has been left out of the Indian team? Perhaps the logic was that Murali Vijay is a specialist opener while Rahane is not. Still, considering the current form and past record (Rahane got a wonderful 50 on T20 debut in Engand), and not to forget, fielding, Rahane should have been included.

  • Lovetesh on May 6, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Good win by RR. They have two tough matches in the last, one against CSK and then against SRH at Hyderabad. So they should focus on winning their next two games against DD and KXIP to secure their position further.

    The only change I would make in RR team as of now is to replace Cooper with some other better foreign player. Cooper needs to improve his bowling a lot as his batting is rarely required with even Faulker coming ahead of him. RR should look to add Tait in Mohali match.

  • PerfectTen on May 6, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Looking at RD's play y'day, they said 'Rolling the Years Back'. I tend to disagree with them somewhat! Coz, RD has been improving since he first broke into the international arena. This is not to say that he was not good - instead, we are getting to see an ever improving RD with age. Brushing aside some off-colour performances in the past, if you chart out his career, he has been proving his critics wrong ALL ALONG. With every match, every series and EVERY FORMAT. That's the greatness of the man. Even when it came to leadership, barring the world cup debacle in the caribbean, he proved all his detractors wrong by being aggressive on the field with his decision making and not off it like some of our 'legends' & 'big brothers'. If he decides to hang up from all formats, it's a big loss to the cricket world and especially to IPL. But, knowing him, like his friend Kumble, he will be there always working towards bettering the cricket world. HATS OFF TO THE TRUE LEGEND!

  • Tal_Botvinnik on May 6, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Well done Parnell, a good prospect for PWI in future matches.