Rajasthan Royals produced a disciplined all-round performance to notch up a convincing nine-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers and seal their semi-final berth in the Champions League Twenty20 in Jaipur.
Riding on a fine bowling performance by Kevon Cooper (4 for 18) and resolute unbeaten half-centuries by Ajinkya Rahane (62) and Sanju Samson (50), Rajasthan continued their unbeaten run in the tournament.
The hosts didn't put a foot wrong as they first bundled out the visitors for a modest 120 in their stipulated 20 overs and then returned to overhaul the target with ease, reaching 121 for one in just 16.3 overs.
Rajasthan now have 12 points from three matches and have their last league match here on Tuesday against Otago, who are placed second with 10 points after three outings.
Mumbai Indians too are in the reckoning with six points from as many matches.
Chasing a victory target of 121 runs, Rajasthan lost their skipper Rahul Dravid (2) in first over but Rahane and Sanju didn't allow the it to affect their chase and kept them well in the hunt.
The duo added 120 runs for the second wicket, sharing 11 boundaries and four sixes between them in 95 balls at the Sawai Man Singh stadium here.
After losing Dravid early, Rahane and Samson took the onus on themselves and played a responsible knock. The duo complimented each other and picked up boundaries regularly.
While, Rahane hit Joel Paris for a boundary on the second ball he faced in the second over, Samson flicked a Jason Behrendorff delivery to fine leg area for another four in the next over. He finished the over with another boundary at the midwicket area.
Rahane was too not lagging behind as he pulled Paris for a six over deep fine leg in the next over, while Samson welcomed Joe Mennie with a four in his fourth delivery in the fifth over.
Samson blasted a six and a four within a space of three balls, spread over two overs to take Rajasthan across the fifty mark.
The duo kept dealing with regular boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking.
In the 14th over, Rahane was dropped and he made good use of the opportunity as he blasted Beer for a six in the 15th over to not only bring his fifty but also help his team get across the 100-run mark.
Samson reached his fifty in the 17th over with a four and a single in the 17th over as Rajasthan romped home comfortably.
Earlier, the Scorchers never looked up to the task as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals after being inserted by Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid.
Perth lost Liam Davis (18) in the third over and the slide continued with wickets falling till the last delivery of the innings.
Their specialist batsman Adam Voges was the top scorer with 27 made off 21 balls and the rest of the batting looked pretty inept as they wasted their starts and could never build up a momentum.
Half of the Scorchers side, including Voges, were back to the pavillion within 11.3 overs with the score reading 77.
After that, only Turner and Jason Behrendorff managed to score in double figures while the rest scored in single digit.
Image: Kevon Cooper