Friday, May 15, 2009

Bangalore RC, Rajasthan Royals earn thrilling wins in IPL

It was a royal special at Kingsmead as Bangalore Royal Challengers and Rajasthan Royals pulled off thrilling wins in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Bangalore beat Chennai Super Kings by two wickets to move into joint fourth position with Deccan Chargers and revive their hopes of reaching the semifinals next week.

Rajasthan cut it even closer in the second match, clipping Mumbai Indians by 2 runs when Mumbai needed four runs from the final over with three wickets in hand.

Rajasthan, the defending champion, rose to third in the eight-team table, while Mumbai slipped to sixth.

Delhi Daredevils lead the Twenty20 tournament with 16 points, followed by Chennai and Rajasthan on 13, but with Chennai enjoying a better run rate.

Mumbai looked like climbing to third with a victory when it needed four runs from the last over to over to overhaul Rajasthan's 145-7. But Mumbai, at 142-7 was all for 143 with a ball to spare.

"All credit to the guys," Rajasthan captain Shane Warne said. "It is these last games that show the spirit of your group. We just wanted to put up a good performance and not worry about winning or losing. But the guys came and showed the desperation and spirit in the side."

Warne, with 3-24 in four overs, was named man of the match, but pace bowler Munaf Patel led the attack in the last over.

He trapped Dhawal Kularni for 1 on the second ball, and Chetanya Nanda was run out for a duck on the third by a throw from Yusuf Pathan to make it 142-9. Harbhajan Singh came in and scored a single, leaving Mumbai needing three runs off the last two balls.

Lasith Malinga played on the off side and set off for a single, but Warne scooped it up and threw to Patel to run him out at the non-striker's end to end the drama.

"I felt towards the end there was a bit of panic and that cost us the game," said Mumbai captain Sachin Tendulkar, who was trapped by Warne for a 30-ball 40.

Bangalore's Vinay Kumar hit the wininng runs in their game with two balls to spare. Set a relatively easy target after bowling out Chennai for 129, Ross Taylor hit 46, sharing a 56-run fourth wicket stand with Virat Kohli (38 off 35 balls) to set up Bangalore nicely after a slow start.

Taylor fell with five runs needed off the last five balls and two wickets in hand.

Kumar then guided his team home in a nervous finish, benefiting from a misfield that allowed a boundary.

"It was a great effort," said Bangalore captain Anil Kumble, who took 2-12. "The bowlers were brilliant and the fielding was brilliant but we struggled a bit at the end. (Jacques) Kallis was brilliant up front .. .everyone contributed."

South Africa allrounder Kallis took 2-18 in four overs including a maiden. Kumar claimed 2-30 in three. The IPL's leading runscorer Matthew Hayden topscored for Chennai with 60.

Today, Kings XI Punjab plays Delhi.

[the article was originally published at]

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