05th May 2009 - Kingsmead, Durban : Two strategic changes - two dream starts - for the two players, Naman Ojha and Amit Singh - defined Rajasthan Royals' (RR) performance in the game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). If there ever was a performance that defined a champion then it was that of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Put into bat on a placid batting wicket, the Royals took full advantage of the conditions and began their innings with some brilliant shot making. The brute force hitting from the blade of Naman Ojha and the exquisite batting display by Graeme Smith had even the KXIP fielders in awe of these two gentlemen.
Scoring the highest partnership of IPL 2009, the openers had laid the foundation for a mammoth total for RR. And it was the late flourish from the blade of Ravindra Jadeja and Lee Carseldine which put RR in the drivers’ seat with 211 on board. With one of the better batting performances in the tournament so far, RR looked well set for a victory over their more formidable opponents.
With a huge score on board, IPL 2009s highest till date, KXIP were under tremendous pressure right from the first ball they faced. And the pressure was too much for the opening batsmen who were cleaned up by Amit Singh and Yusuf Pathan in successive overs. KXIP never recovered from the early losses though the middle ordered did prove resilient against the RR bowling. The bowling was once again on the money with the RR bowlers in complete control of the KXIP innings.
The victory, an important one, was an easy win for the Royals. It was the performance of the debutants Naman Ojha and Amit Singh whose invaluable contributions catapulted the team to the second spot in the league. A resurgent Graeme Smith and the in-form Ravindra Jadeja too played a crucial role along with Siddharth Trivedi and Shane Harwood who chipped in with wickets at crucial times. It was a team effort and the Royals are very much in the running for a semi-final berth.
Special mention to the man of the match winner Graeme Smith whose return to form must ring warning bells for the opposition bowlers!
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