(The Times Of India)
Rahul Dravid’s six over long-on off Irfan Pathan was for those who believe he has no place in T20 cricket. It was the third over of the Rajasthan Royals innings and Dravid collected 14 of the 15 runs that Delhi Daredevils’ high-cost player Pathan conceded. That over put the Royals firmly on the track for a six-wicket victory in their second match of IPL 4 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Tuesday. That Royals won with nine balls to spare also indicated the ease with which the victory was achieved. For Daredevils, it was their second defeat on the trot.
By the time Dravid departed in the eighth over, the Jaipur-based team, chasing 152, were 61. Dravid scored 38 in just 31 balls in an uncharacteristic but fruitful innings.
With Royals scoring at almost nine runs per over and with Johan Botha playing a steady hand at one end, skipper Shane Warne could afford to experiment. In walked local boy Ashok Menaria, ahead of the more experienced Ross Taylor. Menaria’s stay at the wicket was short and explosive. Three sixes – one each off off Shabaz Nadeem, Roelof van der Merwe and Irfan Pathan — in his 15-ball stay for 22 runs were enough to show why he is considered a fast rising star. But then, he tried a bit too much and gave Virender Sehwag a simple catch. He was looking good for more. Warne’s ‘promote-them-young’ experiment continued with Ajinkya Rahane. The Mumbai player’s sedate 18 was better than run-a-ball. Botha continued to keep steady grip on the game. With not much remaining, the stage was perfect for New Zealander Taylor to end with a flourish.
Delhi Daredevils: D Warner c Raut b A Singh 54, V Sehwag c Dravid b Tait 4, A Finch c Botha b Tait 11, U Chand c Dravid b Warne 2, N Ojha c Tait b Warne 0, Y Venugopal Rao c Warne b Trivedi 60, Irfan Pathan not out 9, R van der Merwe not out 2; Extras: (lb-4, w-3, nb-2) 9
Total: (for 6 wkts in 20 overs) 151
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-29, 3-36, 4-36, 5-119, 6-139.
Bowling: Tait 4-0-40-2, Amit Singh 4-1-18-1, Botha 4-0-36-0, Trivedi 4-0-36-1, Warne 4-0-17-2.
Rajasthan Royals: A Paunikar b Dinda 5, R Dravid c Ojha b van der Merwe 38, J Botha not out 39, A Menaria c Sehwag b Pathan 22, A
Rahane b Morkel 18, R Taylor not out 18; Extras: (b-4, lb-5, w-1, nb-2) 12
Total: (for 4 wkts in 18.3 overs) 152.
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-61, 3-92, 4-121.
Bowling: A Dinda 3.3-0-34-1, M Morkel 4-0-11-1, I Pathan 3-0-32-1, R van der Merwe 4-0-41-1, S Nadeem 4-0-25-0.