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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Samson, Watson help Rajasthan stay unbeaten at home

Samson, Watson help Rajasthan stay unbeaten at home

April 29, 2013 20:20 IST

Sanju Samson smashed his way to a superb 63 and Brad Hodge conjured up a crucial 32-run cameo as Rajasthan Royals held their nerve to humble formidable Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets in a thrilling Pepsi Indian Premier League match in Jaipur on Monday.

Riding on a number of small contributions, specially R Vinay Kumar's final-over assault during which he smashed birthday boy James Faulkner for three sixes, Bangalore posted a challenging 171 for six after being asked to bat.

- Scorecard

Chris Gayle top-scored for the Bangalore side with a 16-ball 34, even as at least four top-order batsmen scored more than 20 runs for them.

Shane Watson congratulates Sanju Samson on his fiftyRajasthan responded to the challenge positively, with wicketkeeper-batsman Samson, who replaced Dishant Yagnik, taking the fight to the rival camp with a blistering 63 off 41 balls that was laced with nine boundaries and two sixes.

- Photos from the match

After Samson's dismissal, Hodge's 18-ball 32 and Shane Watson's patient 41 guided the hosts to victory with one ball to spare.

Rajasthan thus remain unbeaten at home.

Right from his arrival at the crease, following the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane, Samson dealt in boundaries. The hosts were 45 for one in six overs, but Samson brought his side back with his run-spree.

At half-way mark he guided the side to 80 for two although the hosts lost skipper Rahul Dravid (22) in between.

Watson played a second fiddle while displaying good touch -- his drives, both ground and uppish, were struck firmly.

At the age of 18 Samson became the youngest batsman to score a fifty in the IPL when he hit a crushing boundary off RP Singh in the cover area.

Watson smashed the same bowler over his head as the hosts reached 115 for two in 14 overs.

Samson was dismissed by Ravi Rampaul, but it only got better for the hosts as Hodge came up with a match-winning cameo.

The Australian, along with compatriot Watson, sent the Bangalore bowlers on a leather hunt.

Hodge whacked Rampaul for two sixes in the 18th over and it looked an easy stroll for the hosts from there on.

However, the script changed with RP Singh dismissing Watson in the penultimate over and Vinay Kumar accounting for Hodge in the last over.

Virat Kohli, showing presence of mind, ran-out Owais Shah and it seemed Bangalore were pulling off the unlikely win.

However, Stuart Binny found a boundary off the penultimate ball to seal victory for the hosts.

Earlier, Bangalore, who were 149 for six after the end of the 19th over, scored 22 runs in the innings' last over, with Vinay Kumar hitting Faulkner over deep mid-wicket, long-on and over the bowler's head for three sixes.

Though Chris Gayle top-scored for RCB with a 16-ball 34, Vinay Kumar's 22 runs off just six balls gave the team a healthy total.

Watson returned as the most impressive bowler with figures of three for 22. Faulkner's final over spoilt what was turning out to be a decent day for him.

Sent in to bat, Gayle was in his element from the beginning, hitting six fours and a six during his whirlwind knock of 34 that came off just 16 balls.

But Watson had the dangerous West Indian caught behind with a delivery that was slightly on the shorter side outside off, drawing Gayle to go for a loose cut.

After the early onslaught by Gayle, RCB's run-rate dropped considerably and there was a period when Rajasthan conceded just 22 runs in four overs.

The visitors struggled to find the ropes for as many as 40 balls before A B de Villiers dispatched Ajit Chandila over midwicket for a boundary.

Two balls later, Kohli hit one straight down the bowler's head, before de Villiers reverse-swept him for the over's third boundary.

Chandila's was a productive over for RCB as they took 16 runs.

De Villiers found the fence one more time before S Sreesanth came back to dismiss the South African for a 13-ball 21, the batsman's slice going straight to the deep point fielder off the first delivery of what was to be a wicket-maiden over.

RCB were kept quiet after that before Vinay Kumar smashed those sixes in the final over to spoil Rajasthan's calculations.

Photograph: BCCI

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