Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2010, Mohali March 24, 2010

Siddharth Trivedi leads disciplined performance

In a team shorn of flashy players and big-hitting heavyweights, it was perhaps no surprise that Rajasthan's win was down to a good old-fashioned all-round effort

He wasn't nearly as quick as Shaun Tait. He didn't engage in verbal jousts with batsmen or erupt after a wicket like Munaf Patel. He wasn't the Man of the Match. He didn't even have the best figures of the game but, as his captain Shane Warne acknowledged later, a "fantastic" Siddharth Trivedi delivered the goods when the ball was thrown to him. Trivedi's tight first spell revived Rajasthan Royals when Kings XI Punjab were cruising along smoothly and set in motion a dramatic collapse that leapfrogged Rajasthan to joint fourth on the points table.

Three nights ago it was Punjab who applied the squeeze on a lacklustre Chennai Super Kings, chipping away with wickets to force a Super Over and then taking the match in tense manner. Tonight, it was their turn to collapse, albeit against a tougher target, from a place of dominance. From a manic 76 for 1 after the Powerplay overs, Punjab lost nine wickets for 67 runs from the time a rampant Manvinder Bisla was dismissed by Warne in the eighth over.

Trivedi's contribution was outstanding. His role, coming in at second change, was not to hurl the ball down at pace but rather to rely on his variations. There was extra bounce on this surface and Trivedi did just that at the right time for success. His first spell came immediately after the Powerplay. At 76 for 1, Punjab had set down a platform, and Bisla was threatening to see them home. From the word go Trivedi settled down to bowl a tight line, using the offcutter and slower delivery to good effect. In his first over he set about the change in tone, conceding just four runs, one of which was a leg bye. Bisla twice tried to skip out and dictate terms, but failed both times. Ravi Bopara, keen to play the sheet anchor's role, had trouble spotting the slower ball.

Only five followed in his second over, during which he surprised Yuvraj Singh with a snorter. The use of the short delivery, particularly against the Indian batsmen, has been successful this season and Trivedi was well aware. In a chase where Punjab needed to score at 9.20 an over, Trivedi had given just nine runs in two overs, and the pressure led to a wicket. Bisla tried to break the shackles against Warne and picked out the fielder in the deep.

In his next over, the 11th, Trivedi again repeated the short delivery and got Yuvraj to miscue a pull out to deep square leg, where Michael Lumb put down a straightforward chance. There was hardly time for Rajasthan to react in despair, for two deliveries later Yuvraj misread a slower ball and skied to long-on.

Warne kept Trivedi's last over for later and brought him on for the penultimate over - after Tait bowled a superb 18th - with Punjab needing 43 from 12 balls. The game was Rajasthan's, but a loose over wasn't what they required. Trivedi capped his evening with Mahela Jayawardene's wicket, finishing with 2 for 25.

It is important to have wicket-taking options after your new-ball pair and Trivedi provides that. He certainly doesn't have the conventional fast bowler's build, but a sprightly leap as he nears the crease and a whippy arm action help him generate decent pace and good bounce. He's also fairly accurate, and an economy rate of 6.37 after three games is something that some of the established international stars can't boast of.

Trivedi really was a star tonight, bowling at crucial periods, but there were other contributors along the way. Munaf hadn't had the best of tournament so far - in fact he had yet to bowl a complete spell in any of his matches - but his wobbly medium-pace was ideally suited to conditions under lights. His second and third overs were painful, with Kumar Sangakkara and Bisla tearing into him, but when Warne tossed him the ball ahead of the 13th over, with Punjab 112 for 3, Munaf delivered. Until this time Munaf had appeared disgruntled, and keen to shoot off his mouth at the batsmen, but here he kept a cool head and shut his mouth to bowl a decisive over with two lovely slower deliveries producing wickets.

Tait's evening seemed headed for another poor outing when he had his first delivery put down by the wicketkeeper down the leg side, and soon after when Sangakkara took him for three boundaries in four balls. But Tait banged in a short ball and got the Punjab captain steering to third man. Later, when he was called back to bowl two overs at the death, Tait snuffed out the tail.

Punjab's run-chase stumbled as Warne fell back on his domestic players, and Trivedi and Munaf took pace off the ball in a manner that made them extremely effective in crunch situations. While the master tactician continues to disappoint with the ball, his apprentices are starting to find their feet in this season's competition. Warne was the first to admit that the manner in which his group responded was brilliant.

Much of the credit for this win must go to handy 60-run fourth-wicket partnership between Faiz Fazal and Adam Voges, which in the end was the difference between the two sides. When Rajasthan lost their third wicket wicket they were 111 in 13 overs; Punjab lost their third wicket at 107, after 11 overs. From there, the two innings shaped up differently: while Fazal and Voges lifted Rajasthan's middle order with a fifty partnership, Punjab's middle order fell apart in 23 deliveries. Voges, whose last and only two IPL innings have transformed the tone of the innings, was deservedly named Man of the Match.

In a team shorn of flashy players and big-hitting heavyweights, it was perhaps no surprise that Rajasthan's win was down to a good old-fashioned all-round effort.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Monish on March 27, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    Punjab was throwing away the chance of winning the second time comprehensively. They almost got a good start from sreesanth taking the wicket in the forth over and he bowled really very well , just conceding 20 runs in 3 overs but he had no other bowler to back him. To ensure that the opponent team confines within a low target, we need early wickets and I hope that B.Lee could support sreesant in the next game. Punjab batted very well. Sangakkara and Bisla batted very well but middle order batsmen just throwed the wickets away.

  • Raj on March 25, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    Well done Rajasthan and well deserved for Punjab, YOU CANT PLAY WITH TOO MANY EGOS IN A TEAM, for me there was many captains setting field, Mahela, Yuvraj, Sanga, Irfan and even Kaif!! Sangakkara needs to stand up...

    Rajasthan, worthy winners, gritty players who are part of IPL folkfore already...

  • ankur on March 25, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    KXIP are gone for all money now............this what happens when you have so many established players who may not be as motivated as they are with their Intl side.

  • Faisal on March 25, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    What I like the most about RR is that it is a side of sheep led by a LION, unlike KKR. :)

  • ashok on March 25, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    It is time to ring in a few changes in the Kings X1 Punjab team. They should probably try out Tanmay/Reetinder for Kaif, Romesh Powar for Sreeshanth and Brett Lee for Mahela. They are missing James Hopes who can be explosive with the bat and also chip in with a few overs of medium pace.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    As a Royals fan, I have enjoyed their bowling efforts in the last couple of games. After the first 6 overs of the Kings XI innings I thought our chances of winning were fading fast. Trivedi dried up the runs and the momentum that Kings XI had gathered was halted. He was backed up by the other bowlers and fielders.

    The best part of the last 2 victories is that it took an all round effort from everyone. There were no stand out individual brilliances and it augers well for the rest of the games. Having said that, the Royals are punching above their weight. There are other heavyweights in the tournaments this year.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Surely, all is not well within the kings dressing room...Yuvraj seemed to be giving catching practice out there...You couldn't catch, try now...One way of showing how you can change the game!

  • Allan on March 25, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    It's really irritating when all and sundry including Indian writers point out that Indian batsmen are suspect against the short delivery, as if they're the only ones! Fact is you can count on your fingers the number of International-level batsmen who are actually good pulling or hooking the short delivery. Players like Symonds, Kallis, Martin etc all looked pretty ordinary agains medium-pace short balls. Just check the footage...plenty of skiers, lobs, and swinging & missing! So now we're going to fault first-class level and U-19 Indian batsmen for not being comfortable agains the short ball! And Indian writers buy into and continue to spout this CRAP!! What a bunch of idiots.

  • Micky on March 25, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    Good bowling by Trivedi. Impressive stuff. A good thing we are praising Rajasthan for their bowling rather than blaming the batsman.

    Remember Sriram Veera, who is clearly biased, who posted an outrageous bulletin for the Rajasthan's previous game against KKR. To Sriram: Where do you get off blaming Brad Hodge for KKR losing against Rajasthan? What biased reporting. You claimed Hodge scored at "almost a run a ball" which is incorrect.Tiwary striked at 85, Hodge at 106, Pujara at 116, Ganguly at 114 and Shah at 112. Hodge, Pujara, Ganguly and Shah all striked at between 6 and 7 runs per over - barely any difference in all their strike rates. Hodge only faced 34 balls, which was only 28.3% of the innings. To therefore single out blame to Hodge and praise Pujara, Ganguly and Shah is outrageous and is incongruent with the facts. I request the cricinfo team to have Sriram sacked as he has contributed to Hodge being sacked with misinformed rubbish.

  • Praveen on March 25, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    and they are going to be so different once Marsh and Lee comes in. Which two teams have not played them yet?

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