Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2010, Ahmedabad March 20, 2010

All-round Rajasthan seal maiden win


Rajasthan Royals 168 for 7 (Jhunjhunwala 45) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 134 for 5 (Hidge 36, Yusuf 2-23) by 34 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Finally, Rajasthan clicked as a unit and won a game. It was a slow wicket, perhaps one of the slowest tracks in this IPL, and Rajasthan, whose batsmen were harassed on bouncier pitches in this tournament so far, immediately looked more at home. Abhishek Jhunjhunwala led with a serene 45 to ensure Rajasthan capitalised on a solid start to end up with a very competitive 168, a total which they defended with a disciplined show from their spinners.

Kolkata didn't help their cause by a poor batting effort in the chase. Keeping wickets in hand is a sound ploy of course but they struggled to score runs and allowed the pressure to build up. Brad Hodge was the guiltiest of the lot. It might seem harsh for he scored almost a run-a-ball 36, but he never accelerated and allowed the chase to meander along. Hodge's approach was even stranger, considering Angelo Mathews and Owais Shah were cooling their heels in the dressing room. Even when he was well-settled, he waited for the new batsmen to attack, which was always going to be difficult on this slow track which aided the spinners. And Sourav Ganguly, too, struggled today though unlike Hodge, he tried to go for the big shots but could rarely find his timing. It might have been a plan that Hodge would drop anchor and the others hit around him but he never adapted to the changing demands of the chase.

Rajasthan relied heavily on spin - they started with Yusuf Pathan who took out the opener Manoj Tiwary with a quick skidding delivery and later returned to take out Brad Hodge - and it paid rich dividends on this pitch. It also helped that Shane Warne finally found his mojo today - he found drift and turn to keep the batsmen honest. Hodge was content, nudging Warne around, Pujara couldn't break free against him, and Ganguly couldn't connect with his intended big hits. Only Pujara played with a sense of purpose, hitting four fours right away on arrival at the crease but he too was slowed down by the spinners. And the chase had derailed.

At the toss, Warne had reckoned that 175 would be a good total and his batsmen responded well to the captain's call. They attacked with a plan, with one batsman looking to get after the bowling while the other rotated the strike. While Naman Ojha tried to find his touch, Faiz Fazal attacked at the start; while Jhunjhunwala settled in, Ojha attacked; and when Yusuf was new to the crease, Jhunjhunwala collected a few boundaries. Every time a wicket fell, they counterattacked. We don't know whether all this was planned or it just transpired that way in the middle, but what the approach did was to give Rajasthan a total that they were able to defend on this slow track.

It was Fazal who set the ball rolling with his attacking approach at the top. He walked in after Michael Lumb was trapped in front by Ashok Dinda for a first-ball duck and immediately looked to get after the bowling. In the same over, he swiped for a four but it was in the third over that he really got going with three boundaries against Dinda. He thrashed down the ground, pulled across the line and swung a delivery from outside off to the square-leg boundary to make his agenda very clear.

Fazal fell soon, flat-batting Shane Bond to mid-off but Ojha took over the attacking role to collect a few muscled boundaries against Matthews. However, he was run out in the ninth over, going for the second run but failing to beat an accurate throw from Mathews at long leg. Enter Yusuf and he drove couple of boundaries but yet again fell to the short ball, mistiming his attempted pull shot.

Jhunjhunwala, though, carried on and played a serene knock filled with late cuts, on drives and nudges into gaps, to push Rajasthan on. When he fell in the first ball of the 18th over, it looked like Rajasthan might lose their way but Adam Voges freed his arms to loot 17 runs in the final over, bowled by Ishant , to charge Rajasthan to a respectable total, which proved enough in the end.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rupam on March 22, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    My line up would be: 1.Gayle,2.Tiwari,3.Saha,4.Hussey,5.Matthews,6.Ganguly,7.Gavaskar,8.Shukla, 9.Karthik,10.Ishant,11.Langeveldt

    Firstly Langeveldt has not put a foot wrong ,ergo the aura surrounding Bond is simply not reason enough that he may be warming the benches. Secondly , I would open with Gayle and Tiwary because of their unhindered styles of strokeplay.Saha is a natural stroke maker and is up for the seam bowling. Thirdly, I would have my attackers Hussey and Matthews up at 4 and 5 so they can utilise most of the 20 overs and still not get exposed at the top.

    Fourthly,Since Ganguly is only a compulsive hitter , he s best at 6.

  • jacque on March 21, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    KKR lost thanks to poor captaincy. Bond doesn't bowl well at the death and still he didn't open the bowling. Bond should just bowl 4 overs up front that is their best bet. Kartik is an attacking spinner so ganguly needs to attack with him. As for batting ganguly needs to bat at 6. Open with gayle. Not sure why gayle didnt play the last match. I would drop hodge as he played selfish last two games. Owais shah must bat at 4 and mathews at 5. Rest can fit in.

  • M on March 21, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Bring in Vighnesh for Pujara, Gayle for Shah. Let them open. Hodge, Pujara and Ganugly are not big hitters. KKR can not afford to have three such players in the top four. Also, if the first/second wicket falls around 10th over, then send Mathews to the crease. All the teams (except RR) have big hitters at the top of the order. Bowling department is doing pretty good, batsmen should take more responsibility.

  • P on March 21, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    no point expecing much from KKR and Dada. Dada's strike rate in all 3 IPLs been low, lower than ..hold ur breath, the Wall Rahul Dravid. Dada was never a powerful guy or great technique, relied on timing and hand-eye co-ordination. Now his body is refusing to follow his mind, and he looks pathetic at times. SO, KKR has to gamble now with vignesh, mandeep/harpreet, and drop dada (if cant be... then let him come #7 and not waste balls), tiwari. keep pujara (more 4 consistency not for setting the field alive); open with gayle and vignesh; bring mathews up the batting, and pray foreign players plus new indian players wud make a better combination.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    KKR lost the gamewhile too many wickets in hand,Hodge did not go for big hitting, that was unbelieveble. they are lacking, big hitters,likeChris Gale and Brendon Mcullum.

  • Vikram on March 21, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    KKR lost because of some inconsistent batting by the top order.Ganguly cant keep on blaming his bowlers for the teams poor performance.Ganguly should be held responsible for the loss,since his batting lacked aggression required for a 20-20 batsman.Angelo Mathews and Owais Shaw should have batted higher up the order rather than Ganguly.One should take a leaf out of the RCB where even if their bowlers gave away runs,the batsmen were able to bat their skins out to win the match.In the match against CSK also he blamed the bowlers instead of his batsmen.If ever Ganguly wanted to bat in the top order,he has to open the innings which comes to him naturally instead of coming in @ no 4.This would let him adjust to the conditions of the pitch and could build the innings together while the others attack the bowling.Let Tiwary bat down lower order,since opening is not his natural position.

  • hunter on March 21, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Royals didn't pick good player for t20 in 2nd and 3rd session,Royals heavily rely on y.pathan in 2nd and 3rd session.That gives them worst result, i think royals management feels so panic to spent money on their player and to sign contract with new player over the year,Shane waston is only the consistent player for them in top order, without him teams mostly depend upon yusuf,when he plays they win ,but when player like voges,watson,pathan rocks then royals will win the ipl 2010. I think they will pick the more quality player unlike M.lumb, botha,lee cas..,rob quieny and so on.I think best 11 for royals will be right now for 2010 ipl 1. watson 2. N. ojha 3. F. fazal 4.A. junjunwala 5. Y. patahn 6.A voges 7.P Dogra 8. s. warne 9. M. patel 10. A sigh 11. S. tait

    however i think tait will be more better in middle over bowling then opening spell. pls think the team for royals 2010. think they will focus on quality player(batsman ) in future.

  • Himadri on March 20, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    I am a big Ganguly fan. His ups and downs has been literally were parallel to my life's ups and downs. While his every comeback I achieved something in my life to stop my critics. Everytime he went to the crease I could fell myself in him. Hey that was until he retired in Nagpore. Things are bit different till then. So, for me, please keep him aside for a moment. KKR since 2008:- Brad Hodge always fighting to give the innings a respectable look, not a daunting one. And today it was pain for an hour to see him. I was wondering what he and Pujara was actually trying to achieve. You have to try make big shots to feel yourself incapable of it. Unfortunately for cricket they even did not tried big shots. When somebody like Ganguly tried it it was already out of his recent capabilities. I think almost every team except R.Royals the Indian domestic players have license to slog bracketed by icon players or strong foreign recruits. But kolkata hoping Monoj Tiwary to be Kallis. Too much?

  • ravindra on March 20, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    Dada?I wonder who or what he'll blame for losing this one.With all respect to him,he needs to sit back and take a good look at his game.He should take a leaf from Shane's book.relaxing is key.dont demand from your players,let them enjoy what they have to do.all the guys are prof.they have a fair/good understanding of situations.i saw he's setting a million field placing.i noticed Warne is going with the bowlers idea first then his is the plan B.Chris G. will strengthen his team.I think he also needs to bat lower down the order.give the younger guys a chance to explode whilst he be a stability if things go bad.just as Bangalore is doing with Dravid.

  • Bis on March 20, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    rajasthan don't have many stars but they have a lot of spirit and full marks to shane warne for that - he is a truly great captain. kkr are now showing signs of spluttering after their runaway start - unless someone like chris gale starts turning it on soon they and their celebrity backers could be in for another torrid season. i think their main problem is that ganguly is past it as a player - he was never a great captain in the sense of man management but as long as he could cut it as a player he had the confidence to take it on now that confidence seems to be draining away.

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