Rajasthan make a Royal mess of Challengers
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 19th May 2008
The body language, they say, goes a long way in determining the state of mind one is in. And if one did watch the Bangalore Royal Challengers play the Rajasthan Royals today, their body language suggested that they would have preferred being working in the coal mines of Yorkshire, than play cricket currently.
It all went wrong, right from the toss, when Rahul Dravid won it, and yet, under searing temperatures of forty degree celcius, decided to field first. If the ground fielding was appalling, their catching was worse, as the openers, Swapnil Asnodkar and Graeme Smith raced away to a quick start. Asnodkar played his shots in the cricketing V, with a slight difference that his V was behind the stumps. In fact, Graeme Smith was no better, having four hits to the boundary behind the wicket. But what counted was that the duo raised 100 runs in only the 11th over, with both getting to their fifties. Asnodkar left soon, but Shane Watson and Smith piled on the agony for the Royal Challengers, getting to a mammoth 197/1 in their 20 overs, with Smith carrying his bat for a 49-ball 75.
Bangalore needed a strong reply, what they got instead was a shock. Each of the first three overs went for a wicket, and when Cameron White and Jacques Kallis also left with the score at 40, it was all over bar the shouting for the Challengers. Rahul Dravid did stem the rot with a 36-ball 75, but by then the fat lady had sung, and the Challenges capitulated to a 132/9 in the 20, losing by 65 runs in the process. Tanvir Sohail and Shane Warne scalped three each, in fact Tanvir ended with brilliant figures of 4-0-10-3. Dravidís knock had definitely provided a spark to the Bangalore innings, though one cannot be sure how much it would actually help alleviating the sore wounds of the Royal Challengers.
Smith was declared the Man-of-the-Match for his brilliant innings of 75, and this win took the Rajasthan team to sixteen points from ten matches.