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|Chandila claims hat-trick as motivated Rajasthan rout Pune|
|Sunday, 13 May 2012 20:27|
JAIPUR: Ask any corporate type and they'll tell you that incentive (or the lack thereof) is huge thing. Dangle suitable bait, watch the show; withdraw the lure and watch listless non-performances rear their ugly head.
This is precisely what happened at Jaipur on last evening. An out-of-IPL-V contention Pune Warriors were comprehensively thrashed by a team that still have an outside chance of making the play-offs
. A motivated Rajasthan Royals batted first at their home ground, posted a commendable 170, thanks to half-centuries by Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson, and then destroyed Warriors as the unheralded Haryana off-spinner Ajit Chandila took a hat-trick on his way to a match-winning four for 13.
Not for a minute were Pune in the chase. Chandila opened the bowling and spurred into activity, claiming Jesse Ryder on the fifth ball. On the next delivery, the last of the first over, Sourav Ganguly (returning after sitting out of the previous match) extended his woeful season by being stumped down the legside.
Chandila was on a hat-trick, but he had to wait just a bit more to realize the landmark.
The 28-year-old bowler returned to bowl the third over of the innings and registered the first hat-trick of IPL-V when he foxed Robin Uthappa outside the off-stump, Shreevats Goswami making no mistake with his second stumping of the match.
Chandila picked up another one when Anustup Majumdar provided him with a dolly of a return catch, and Pune - 26-4 in the fifth over - went rapidly downhill from there.
With the asking rate escalating to unapproachable levels, Steven Smith and Angelo Mathews – Pune’s last hopes in what has been a hopeless year for them -wilted under pressure, and the Ganguly’s team fell short by 45 runs in the end. This was Pune's eighth consecutive defeat in IPL-V.
Another highlight of the chase was the stunning relay-catch pulled off by Johan Botha-Rahane. Botha at long-off overran the field getting to a skier by Rahul Sharma, tossed the ball at the last moment to long-on, where Rahane captured the ball safely in his grasp.
The win kept Rajasthan alive and Rahul Dravid’s team now needs to nail their two remaining matches to have a chance of making the play-offs. But as much as Chandila’s hat-trick was responsible for keeping Royals in the hunt, Rahane and Watson played an equally important part when they added 94 in just 10 overs in the first innings.
Rahane opened with Dravid and took the score to 29, before the skipper made way for Watson in the middle. Rahane kept the board ticking, showing an impressive urgency in converting ones into twos, while Watson was content in forcing the ball through the leg side region.
The Aussie slogged Bhuvaneshwar Kumar over mid-wicket and then claimed successive sixes against Murali Kartik. Pune’s fielding folded as Watson turned on the heat, and at least two boundaries were conceded to misfields – on one occasion the culprit being, surprisingly, Steven Smith.
Watson brought up his fifty off just 26 balls but was bowled soon after to a surprise yorker that Ashish Nehra pulled out of nowhere. Rahane too lost his wicket to a yorker – Mathews’ – but that was in the last over and by then Royals had already reached a total that would have been a tough chase even without the roadblock of the first hat-trick of the season.
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