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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Warne signs off on a high as Rajasthan maul Mumbai

Warne signs off on a high as Rajasthan maul Mumbai

Last updated on: May 20, 2011 23:57 IST

- Scorecard

A whirlwind, unbeaten 89 by man-of-the-match Shane Watson ensured Rajasthan Royals a comprehensive 10-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede stadium on Friday.

Chasing a modest target of 134, the visitors romped home with a whopping 41 balls to spare.

Watson's 47-ball knock was inclusive of nine hits to the fence and six huge ones over it. He put on an unbeaten 134-run stand for the opening wicket with Rahul Dravid, who was unbeaten on 43.

Shane WatsonRajasthan's sixth victory of the campaign ensured a perfect farewell for skipper Shane Warne, while Mumbai's hopes of making it to the play-offs hangs in the balance.

It was a stunning display of stroke-play by Watson as out-of-contention Rajasthan got their act together in time to give a befitting farewell to their inspiration captain.

With this defeat, Mumbai now has 16 points and will take on Kolkata Knight Riders on May 22 in their final round-robin IPL match for a place in the play-off.

Kolkata too are at 16 points, while Kings XI Punjab have 14 points in their kitty with one match to go.

Royals have finished their engagements with 13 points.

Chennai Super Kings, with 18 points, and Royal Challengers Bangalore (17) have already qualified for the four-team play-offs and are in the top two positions on the table.

It was Watson's day all the way, as after grabbing three wickets for 19 runs, the burly Australian simply tore the home team's attack and struck six sixes and nine fours.

Dravid, who started slowly before opening out, played the ideal foil to his 29-year-old team-mate while scoring an unbeaten 43 in 32 balls with the help of six fours. The burly Aussie pulled the ball ferociously and also drove it with power when the opportunity arose and treated all the bowlers with equal disdain.

Watson's pyrotechnics saw Malinga, Mumbai Indians' pride and the highest wicket-taker in IPL4, bleed 42 runs in his four overs.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma cracked his third fifty in the ongoing league to lift Mumbai Indians from a dawdling start to 133 for five.

Sharma, who came to the crease when the home team had slumped to 17 for 2 after 4 overs, slammed five fours and a six in his 47-ball 58-run innings before being dismissed by Warne, who was playing his swansong match.

Sharma was involved in two fruitful stands -- 48 runs with captain Sachin Tendulkar, who scored an unimpressive 31 off 35 balls, and 53 runs off 39 balls for the fourth wicket with Kieron Pollard (20) -- that upped the scoring rate.

Watson emerged the pick of the bowlers for the Royals, who are already out of contention for a berth in the play-offs, with a haul of three for 19.

Left arm spinner Ankit Chavan bowled very well and was unfortunate not to get the wicket of Tendulkar in his four overs.

Mumbai's performance though was an improvement over their pathetic 94 for 8 at Jaipur in their first leg clash last month, which they had lost, but the total was still well below their own expectations.

The home team struggled to get going after opting to bat first. Royals opened with left arm spinner Chavan and Watson and kept the duo on right through the powerplay overs at the end of which the hosts were a poor 26 for two.

Chavan, in fact, was unlucky, as he rapped Tendulkar on the pads twice but on both occasions umpire Paul Reiffel shot down his appeals for leg before. Television replays suggested that the home team skipper was out.

He was rapped on the pad off the first ball he faced from Chavan and then again in the seventh over, but was lucky to be given not out on both occasions.

The left-arm spinner impressed with the turn he got off the track in his four-over stint for 17 runs without success.

Tendulkar had Tirumalasetti Suman as his fifth opening partner in the tournament with a view to provide the team a meaningful start but the move failed to click.

Suman, after hitting Watson over the covers audaciously for a four, flicked the next ball straight to short mid-wicket fielder Ashok Meneria.

Watson then sent back man-in-form Ambati Rayudu, caught by Ross Taylor running behind at short extra cover off a leading edge, to reduce Mumbai Indians to 17 for 2 at the end of four overs.

Tendulkar hit his first boundary by sweeping Chavan, who was troubling him, and the advent of the positive stroke-maker Rohit Sharma upped the run-rate considerably once Watson went off the attack after his three-over spell in which he grabbed 2 for 12.

Sharma pulled Chavan in his fourth over and then drove Shane Warne to the extra cover fence when the leg spin ace came on to bowl his first over in his last competitive game after eight overs to raise the 50 in 54 balls.

At the halfway stage of the innings, Mumbai had rogressed to 61 for two.

Tendulkar fell in the 12th over when he tried to increase he sagging run-rate by taking on Amit Singh. After improvising brilliantly to send the ball to the fine leg fence, the champion departed slashing the bowler off the next ball to Watson at third man.

Tendulkar hit three fours in his 35 ball knock and added 48 runs in 45 balls with Sharma for the third wicket.

Sharma then struck Amit Singh for a four and a superb pulled six in the 14th over to up the rate and completed his half-cenutury in 36 balls two overs later with a single.

But despite his best efforts he could not collar Warne, who was as wily as he had been right through his glittering career.

Sharma finally fell in the last over while giving the charge to Warne who deceived him with a huge leg break and had him stumped, thus taking a wicket in his final over.

James Franklin used the long handle to make 11 not out with two fours and helped improve the final tally.