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Jaipur cruise past B'lore by 7 wkts

Chasing Bangalore's 135/8, Jaipur won comfortably with 17 deliveries to spare, reports G Krishnan. Present tally

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2008 11:28 IST
G Krishnan

One Bangalore batsman after another committed hara-kiri as the team put up another pathetic performance at home against an ever-improving Jaipur.

The visitors registered their third straight win, a seven-wicket verdict, in four matches and sent a strong signal to the other teams. However, it would be too early in the competition to term them as title contenders.

Chasing Bangalore's 135/8, Jaipur won comfortably with 17 deliveries to spare.

The two Shanes — captain Warne and all-rounder Watson — inspired the victory. Warne began with a wicket-maiden and the way he handled his men was testimony to his leadership skills. The 26-year-old Watson complemented his fine bowling with an unbeaten half-century. Even as his bowling partner Sohail Tanvir went for plenty, Watson picked up two wickets in his first two overs to end up with an impressive two for 20 in four overs.

The Queenslander then made a mockery of the Bangalore bowlers with an unbeaten 61 (41b, 8x4, 2x6), his second IPL 50, and dominated the third-wicket partnership worth 104 in 76 balls with Graeme Smith (49,42b, 8x4).

Rahul Dravid's side promised to put up a challenging total once New Zealander Ross Taylor went hammer and tongs with his six fours and three sixes in an innings of 44 from 20 balls. But from 65 for four in the eighth over when Taylor was out, Jaipur came back remarkably.

The unpredictable Bangalore top order, with the exception of Taylor, flopped for the second game in a row at home. Dravid was out for a first-ball duck and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli and Mark Boucher all failed to put up sizeable scores.

Low scores often lead to suspicious glances at the pitch but on Saturday, one could not blame the track for the batsmen's dismal show.

Kumble's surprise inclusion

The inclusion of Anil Kumble was a pleasant surprise for the home crowd, especially after the India Test captain was targeting himself for the game against Chennai on Monday. Even Dravid had said on Friday that he was hoping that Kumble would be available on Monday.

The 37-year-old's IPL debut was his first since the second Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad early this month. He had missed the third Test in Kanpur due to a groin injury.