Ross Taylor powers Rajasthan to victory
Ross Taylor hit a crucial 47 not out to steer Rajasthan Royals to a
thrilling six-wicket win over Pune Warriors in an Indian Premier League
match on Sunday. The New Zealander cracked two sixes and four boundaries
in his 35-ball knock as Shane Warne’s Rajasthan achieved a 144-run
target with three balls to spare for their fifth victory in nine matches
of the Twenty20 tournament.
Rajasthan, who now top the 10-team league table with 11 points, were
struggling at 92-4 before Taylor and Ajinkya Rahane (15 not out) guided
their team home with an unfinished 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma put Rajasthan under pressure when he took
three of the first four wickets, including those of Rahul Dravid (18)
and South African Johan Botha (12). But Taylor, dropped on 31 by
compatriot Nathan McCullum in the deep, shattered Pune’s hopes with his
Pune were earlier comfortably placed at 66-1 after eight overs
following impressive knocks from Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey before
losing their way. Uthappa top-scored with a 21-ball 35 and Pandey made
30 off 31 balls.
Uthappa, who hit leg-spinner Warne for four boundaries but also
survived three confident leg-before appeals, eventually fell to the same
bowler when he was caught by wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik while
attempting a reverse-sweep.
Pune’s chances of posting a competitive total after being put in to
bat receded when they lost two wickets in the 13th over.
Skipper Yuvraj Singh (seven) was run out backing up while Pandey was
caught at deep mid-wicket by Taylor off seamer Siddharth Trivedi, who
emerged the most successful bowler with 2-28.
Pune Warriors 143-7 in 20 overs (R. Uthappa 35, M. Pandey 30, M.
Manhas 24; S. Trivedi 2-28) lost to Rajasthan Royals 144-4 in 19.3 overs
(R. Taylor 47 not out, A. Menaria 29; R. Sharma 3-13) by six wickets.