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Another Royals bash

Two moments changed the course of the Pune Warriors-Rajasthan Royals game. Yuvraj Singh's run out that allowed the Royals to come back into the game. Khurram Habib reports. Scorecard

cricket Updated: May 02, 2011 01:00 IST
Khurram Habib

Two moments changed the course of the Pune Warriors-Rajasthan Royals game. Yuvraj Singh's run out that allowed the Royals to come back into the game.

And Murali Kartik's fourth over that Ross Taylor milked with gay abandon to bring the Royals close to the target, just when the ball-run difference was expanding with every over.

But these moments were overshadowed by Shane Warne's first over, the sixth of the Pune Warriors' innings. It had three splendid boundaries, three classic deliveries and three umpiring blunders.

Robin Uthappa greeted Warne with a reverse swept four, and then played a conventional sweep with the same result. Warne came back and thought he had trapped him leg before, but the umpire didn't budge.

Lucky escapes
The next ball was dispatched to the fence again. Off the final two balls, he again trapped him plumb in front, but Shavir Tarapore didn't uphold the appeals. Enterprising and riding his luck, Uthappa had set the tone, and due to him, the Warriors had moved to 70 for 1 in 8.1 overs.

But Warne isn't the one to be messed around. Uthappa mistimed his next reverse sweep, and he was caught by the
'keeper. Soon after, the Warriors skipper Yuvraj Singh was back in the dug out. Manish Pandey hit one straight and the ball ricocheted of the bowler's hand and hit the stumps with Yuvraj having backed too far. The innings lost fizz, and Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson and Johan Botha made sure the Warriors stayed within grasp at 143.

Youth Power
Watson, Rahul Dravid and Botha chipped in at the top for the Royals but it was the young Ashok Menaria who shone through the night. At 59/3, the Royals looked a bit down but Menaria went after the bowling.

He helped them reach around 100. But just when he was getting them really close to the target, he lost his head and holed out to deep midwicket.

The game was on. Yuvraj brought back Kartik, who had done well in the beginning. But Ross Taylor took up the challenge and hit him across the line for four.

He smashed him through the covers and then followed it up with a huge blow over midwicket off a full toss. From 52 off 30 balls, the Royals needed 35 off 24 balls, and that was it.

The Kiwi batsman kept his cool and carried them past the finish line.