Warne bows out on a high
Shane Warne is cheered by his Rajasthan Royals team-mates as he enters the field for his final match, in the Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians, in Mumbai, on Friday.
Captain Warne signed off his professional cricket career with a thumping win as the Rajasthan Royals routed Mumbai Indians by 10 wickets at the Wankhede stadium.winnin
Image: Shane Warne is cheered by his Rajasthan Royals team-mates
Watson heroics gives Rajasthan easy win
Shane Watson gave Rajasthan the perfect start as he claimed a couple of early wickets.
Watson picked up three wickets for 19 runs off his four overs as Mumbai struggled for momentum from the onset.
Image: Shane Watson celebrates with team-mates the wicket of Ambati Rayudu
Rohit rescues Mumbai after poor start
Rohit Sharma was the lone Mumbai to get going as he slammed a brisk 47-ball 58, laced with five fours and a six.
Sachin Tendulkar played a watchful innings of 31 from 35 balls, while Kieron Pollard once again failed to deliver as he scored just 20.
Image: Rohit Sharma
Warne's magic floors Rohit
Warne rolled over his arm for the last time in competitive cricket for the Rajasthan side and picked up the wicket of Mumbai's top-scorer Rohit giving away 30 runs in his quota of four overs.
The flamboyant leg-spinner, in his last over, lured Sharma out of the crease with a flighted delivery that spun away from the right-hander for an easy stumping as Mumbai were restricted to a paltry 133 for five in their 20 overs.
Image: Rohit Sharma is stumped by wicketkeeper Pinal Shah off Shane Warne
Warne bows out on a high
Warne said he called it quits to focus on his business interests, poker tournaments and be with his three children and girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley.
The spin great, who took 708 Test wickets, retired from Test cricket after Australia whitewashed England 5-0 in the Ashes in early 2007 but continued to play in the cash-rich IPL.
Warne said he is looking out for a short stint as a consultant with the Royals or any other franchise next season.
"I wouldn't be here as a coach for the entire tournament. No point being here for seven weeks and don't play. But I can see myself in a consultancy sort of a role...may be ten days pre tournament or a week in the middle or a week in the end. That might be with the Rajasthan Royals," he said.
"In the next 12 months I might not be associated (with Royals), it may be somebody else. Royals will be my first priority. If I can't come to an agreement with them I will look elsewhere and see whatever team (as consultant) for a week or so. If I don't, I will play another poker tournament and watch on the telly.
Image: Shane Warne
Watson destroys Mumbai
Australian all-rounder Watson tore into the Mumbai bowling attack, after being hit on the jaw by a Lasith Malinga bouncer.
Watson slammed 89 from a mere 47 balls, hitting nine boundaries and half a dozen sixes to help Rajasthan reach the target in just 13.1 overs.
Image: Shane Watson
Rajasthan complete crushing victory
The Rajasthan team, out of contention for the playoff stages, romped to victory with 41 balls to spare as openers Watson (89) and Rahul Dravid (43) remained unbeaten to knock off the 134-run target.
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.
Image: Shane Watson (right) congratulates Rahul Dravid after winning the match
A heady mix of sporting greatness and high farce
The great showman Shane Warne took his final bow as a professional cricketer on Friday, bringing down the curtain on a 20-year career that was a heady mix of sporting greatness and high farce.
The 41-year-old Australian has likened his life to a soap opera but it would take a brave script-writer to summon up a character who divided an audience as much as Warne has over the last two decades.
Warne had led Rajasthan to the inaugural IPL title in 2008, a moment he will cherish forever.
"I look back (with fondness) at 2008. We played some phenomenal cricket out there When something is new and fresh and you don't know what's there you try to be a step ahead of the opposition. We were the first to open the bowling with spin. We came out with new ideas which have been copied by others, which is nice. It's a back-handed compliment," he said.
Image: Shane Warne