Jaipur: Shane Warne led from the front with a three-wicket haul as Rajasthan Royals notched up an easy eight-wicket victory over Kochi Tuskers Kerela to bring their campaign back on track in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.
Warne’s decision to bowl first was vindicated as his bowlers responded to the captain’s call to skittle out the Kochi outfit for a paltry 109 in 20 overs at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here.
Shane Watson (49) and Rahul Dravid (44) then came back to set the foundation of their runchase, while Johan Botha (14) and Ross Taylor (2) finished off the game as the Royals reached 111 for two with 5.5 overs to spare.
Rajasthan’s third win in seven matches snapped Kochi’s three-game winning streak and also helped them to jump to the second place in the points table.
Earlier, Warne (3/16) removed Brad Hodge, Parthiv Patel and Ravindra Jadeja and was ably supported by Siddharth Trivedi (3/19), Johan Botha (1/19) and Amit Singh (1/26) to set up the win for the Rajasthan outfit.
Watson started the runchase with a boundary at point on the first ball of the innings, while Dravid too joined in with a classic on-drive off Vinay Kumar in the next over.
The former India skipper picked up two more boundaries, Vinay in the fifth over and then whipping Murali Muralitharan past mid-on in the next over as Watson played the second fiddle.
Watson, who was dropped by Ravindra Jadeja on his own bowling in the eighth over, brought up his second four off Raiphi Gomez when he clobbered him down the ground across the long-on boundary.
In the 10th over, Dravid and Watson picked up Jadeja for special treatment, blasting the spinner for a six and four respectively.
But the Indian run himself out in the next over, looking for an unnecessary second run after pushing the ball to the third man in the 11th over.
Watson then took the onus on himself and amassed 16 runs off Muralitharan, which included two sixes, before picking two more fours off Jadeja to take Rajasthan on the threshold of victory.
But the Australian missed his half-century by a whisker after being cleaned up by Jadeja in the fifth ball of the over, which he tried to work towards the leg side, only to see his leg-stump shattered.
However, it was too late as Botha sealed the victory for Rajasthan with a reverse-sweep four in the first ball of the next over off Muralitharan.