Rajasthan edges RCB in last-over thriller
Stuart Binny hit a boundary off the penultimate delivery of the Pepsi Indian Premier League match as the Rajasthan Royals snatched a four-wicket win in a last-over thriller against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.
Full Scorecard: Rajasthan v Bangalore
Rajsthan managed 173 for six as they reached the target in 19.5 overs and edged Bangalore in a nailbiting finish.
Earlier, Vinaj Kumar blasted three successive sixes in the 20th over to propel Bangalore to 171 for six.
It looked as if the hosts would canter to an easy victory with two seasoned Australian campaigners in Shane Watson and Brad Hodge at the crease at the business-end of the Rajasthan innings.
But Watson departed in the 19th over for 41 (31 balls, 3x4, 1x6) and all the pressure was back on Hodge.
Hodge was bamboozled by Kumar in the final over and perished after an explosive 32 runs off 18 balls.
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It looked as if the hosts succumbed to the pressure, for Owais Shah was run out for one with three balls left and four needed for a win.
Kumar was bowling expertly in the final over, as two wickets fell in the first three deliveries, and only three runs were scored.
But with three runs needed for a win off two balls, he dragged a delivery short.
Binny drove him to the wide midwicket-boundary for a boundary to power the hosts to 173 for six and an exhilarating victory.
Hodge and Watson played a pivotal role when 42 runs were needed for a win off 24 balls.
They hit 17 runs in the final over by Ravi Rampaul to bring the winning target within reach. That included two sixes by Hodge.
Earlier, the 18-year old Sanju Samson played several exquisite strokes in his 63 off 41 balls, including seven fours and two sixes.
He featured in a 68-run partnership off 46 balls with Watson for the third wicket to build a platform for the later onslaught by Hodge.
Bangalore scored 171 for six in their 20 overs, aided by the hard-hitting Kumar, who slammed 22 runs in the final over to boost their chances.
The visitors lost Ajinkya Rahane in the third over for two, but Rahul Dravid gave them early momentum with four boundaries in his 17-ball 22.
When he was bamboozled by Moises Henriques for 22 as the hosts slipped to 48 for two in the seventh over, Samson took over the role as aggressor.
The right-hander Samson batted with the freedom and excellent shot selection that belied his tender age as he completed his half-century off only 33 balls, with four fours and two sixes.
Bangalore started in explosive fashion, thanks to Chris Gayle. He smashed 17 in an over by Sree Sreesanth and powered the visitors to 44 in the fourth over before he succumbed to Watson.
Gayle scored 34 off 16 deliveries with six fours and a six. The rest of the top-order managed cameos, instead of match-winning contributions.
AB de Villiers, with 21 off 13 balls, Virat Kohli, with 32 off 35 deliveries, and Henriques with 22 off 19, were the victims of some soft dismissals.
Bangalore needed some batting inspiration, and Kumar obliged with his late onslaught.
Watson was the pick of the attack, capturing 3-22.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: SR Watson, AM Rahane, R Dravid*, OA Shah, STR Binny, BJ Hodge, SV Samson†, JP Faulkner, A Chandila, SK Trivedi, S Sreesanth
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: CH Gayle, A Mukund, V Kohli*, AB de Villiers†, SS Tiwary, MC Henriques, R Rampaul, R Vinay Kumar, M Kartik, RP Singh, JD Unadkat