Rajasthan Royals went to Pune as a favorite, for a change a break from their permanent underdogs tag. After all besides better success in this season, as compared to Warriors, they also had the unblemished record against Warriors of winning all the three matches they had played in 2011 and 2012. On the other hand Warriors made the right chances and with the entry of Finch, they not only won to end a 11-match losing streak in IPL, but the way they won shows why on paper it is correct to point them as one of the top 4 strongest teams of current IPL. Other teams better beware now.
- RR leads PWI 3-1 in IPL.
MOM: Aaron Finch
Final Score: 145/5 (RR), 146/3 (PWI)
6 overs: 44/1 (RR), 64/1 (PWI)
10 overs 72/1 (RR), 87/1 (PWI)
50 runs: 7.2 ov (RR), 3.4 ov (PWI)
100 runs: 14.5 ov (RR), 11.2 ov (PWI)
6s/4s: 1/17 (RR), 8/11 (PWI)
Best Bowling: Faulkner 17/2 (RR), 16/2 Rahul Sharma (PWI)
Best Batting: Dravid 54 (RR), Finch 64 (PWI)
Rajasthan Royals Batting
Electing to bat first Royals saw first ball duck of Kushal Perera on the bowling of B Kumar, who later on went for 41 runs in 4 overs. Rahane and Dravid joined hands to rebuild the innings. Both had a partnership of 81 runs, but that was not good as they took 11.2 overs. Rahane took 27 balls to score 30 runs (with 3 boundaries) and became a victim of Rahul Sharma, who later had Yagnik (12 runs, 8 balls with 2 boundaries) caught in a funny situation as 5th wicket to finish with another miser figure of 16/2.
After 6 balls Binny went to Yuvraj Singh scoring just 1 runs, after another 12 balls Dravid also became a victim of Yuvraj scoring as Taylor took a breathtaking left-handed catch. After that Hodge (unbeaten on 22 runs with 19 balls with 3 boundaries), and Faulkner (unbeaten 19 on 14 balls with a boundary and a six) took them to 145/5. Captain Mathews had 0/27, Yuvraj had 2/27, while Dinda 21/0 in 3 overs and Mitch Marsh 10/0 in 1 over proved expensive.
Warriors Chase of 146 runs
In the last two matches Warriors had scored 99 and 104, the two lowest total of IPL 2013 by any team. Considering that and the decent bowling attack of RR 145 was a decent score. But Warriors had finally allowed Finch to play. And with Uthappa he provided the best attacking opening partnership in the power-play period. Both of them took just 3.4 overs to complete the 50 for team, which is not only the fastest of current IPL but also one of the top 5 fastest of all-time in IPL. Uthappa (32 runs in 16 balls with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes) was more brutal, specially on Sreesanth, who finished with the most expensive run rate as he gave 38 runs in 2.4 overs, as he was later on targeted successfully by other batsmen too.
Dravid experimented by opening with Harmeet Singh, the slow bowler. But he also ended up giving 34/1. Finch on the other hand continued the assault and was 3rd wicket to fall. His 53-ball 64 runs with 3 sixes and 6 boundaries got him the MOM too. Ross Taylor again failed scoring 17 runs in 20 balls with a six. Good for Warriors that Yuvraj scored some time in the middle and remained unbeaten on 23-ball 28 runs with 2 boundaries and 2 sixes. Captain Mathews remained unbeaten on 1 run.
With 8 balls spare, Warriors won by 7 wickets. For RR Faulkner had a good outing with 17/2 in 4 overs. Cooper failed to grab any wicket but was decent with 26/0. Trivedi (31/0) also went wicketless.