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Rajasthan make sure the drought endures

The Deccan Chargers management would be splitting their hairs. What else would they have to do to earn a victory, apart from picking a good squad and distributing complimentary passes in bulk to bring in supporters to the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Hyderabad. Abhijeet Kulkarni reports.

cricket Updated: Apr 10, 2011 01:40 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

The Deccan Chargers management would be splitting their hairs. What else would they have to do to earn a victory, apart from picking a good squad and distributing complimentary passes in bulk to bring in supporters to the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Hyderabad.

The 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) champions lost their 10th consecutive home game on Saturday and would be justified in thinking the venue is jinxed for the team.

Chargers had lost all their seven home games in the inaugural edition and the two Champions League games in 2009.

They were definitely hoping for a change in fortune as they returned to play their IPL home games here after a gap of two years against Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals, who are considered the weakest in the 10-team tournament.

But Shane Warne knows exactly how to get the best out of his limited resources. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/090411/10_04_11-metro-21.jpg

On Saturday he found match winners, with the ball in Siddharth Trivedi and with the bat in South African Johan Botha, as they trounced the hosts by eight wickets with seven balls to spare.

Warne, 41, who has lost a lot of weight ahead of the tournament, chose to field after winning the toss.

The very first ball of the Chargers' innings gave an inkling of what was to come.

Non-striker Ishank Jaggi (25) slipped in the middle of the wicket while trying to steal a single but was fortunate to not just complete the run but get five runs thanks to an overthrow by Ashok Menaria.

Just like Jaggi's run, Chargers' innings also stuttered more often than not. Had it not been for a cameo by Daniel Christian (26 of 19 balls) in the end and some lucky runs for Ishank Jaggi and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (24), even a score of 137 would have been difficult.

Warne himself bowled with purpose and Trivedi, who had his action corrected last year after being called for chucking, used the slower bouncers to not just check the scoring rate but also take valuable wickets, including that of Christian, to finish with 3 for 15.

The Royals never looked under pressure during their chase and Warne's decision to promote Botha to number three proved a masterstroke as he guided his team home with a rapid-fire 47-ball 67.