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Kings lay siege to Royals’ fortress

cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2010 22:29 IST
Bivabasu Kumar
Bivabasu Kumar
Hindustan Times
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It was here the Rajasthan Royals had created history by winning seven home matches on the trot, a feat that eventually led to their IPL I triumph. To return to where they belong will surely motivate the hosts for another shot at glory.

The Royals have won 10 out of their 11 home matches in the IPL so far and that describes their strong territorial instincts. But Shane Warne’s men will have to show extreme survival skills over the next eight days. There are three different enemies waiting to invade their soil and the Royals have to hold fort to keep hopes alive.

Trying to prove a point after a series of defeats, the Kings XI Punjab are impatient. Though disoriented, they can still land a sucker punch. Just when one thought Mahela Jayawardene was a flop show, he dazzled with a brilliant 110 off 59 deliveries against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

He is just one of the many big hitters in Punjab. Yuvraj Singh, Kumar Sangakkara and Ravi Bopara are all due for big knocks and one can imagine the plunder awaiting a side if any two of the three batsmen get going on a day. Punjab have got into good positions but have somehow failed to finish the game. Their victory against KKR might lift them just like the Royals bounced back with four straight wins after three defeats on the trot.

Warne, on the contrary, won't take things easy despite Monday's win against the Deccan Chargers. He knows they have to improve their fielding and bowling at the death overs. Chennai had scored 155 in the last 10 overs against the Royals and that might come to haunt Warne unless the holes are plugged.

Shane Watson's return has been a big boost for the squad and the Royals' skipper is getting sharper with every match.

The time has come for a team effort, and unless everyone contributes consistently, it could be a dream turned sour for Warne and Co.

Meanwhile, PTI added that the state government has imposed a ban on the performance of cheergirls and serving of liquor during the three IPL matches in Jaipur.