26 Apr 2008 - M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore : Shane Watson’s all-round performance set up a comfortable 7-wicket win for the Rajasthan Royals against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Aussie collected his second Man-of-the-Match award and ensured that the Challengers were never really in the hunt. Watson had the opposition skipper Dravid out off his second ball and followed up with Chanderpaul in his next over.

 

Ross Taylor got the momentum going for the home team as he slammed 3 sixes on his way to a quick-fire 44 off 20. However, that was all the momentum that the Royal Challengers had in their innings. In probable pursuit of a big score, the home-side kept loosing wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 90/7 – Warne’s decision to bowl first being spot on. The Bangalore pair of Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan led a resurgence of sorts to set a target of 136 for the visitors.

 

The Rajasthan Royals lost their first wicket immediately – that of keeper Mahesh Rawat to give the home side a ray of hope. That bought Yousuf Pathan, who fired a quick 21 to get the innings momentum and get the target down to almost a run a ball. Graeme Smith and Shane Watson looked a great ease as they knocked the ball in the gaps to take the score past hundred.

 

Watson, thereafter, seemed in a hurry as he took on Kumar in his comeback over for 26 – 4, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4; in the process slamming his second unbeaten 50 of the tournament. Smith joined the act by going after the bowling of Sunil Joshi. Having hit Joshi for successive boundaries and with six needed to win, Smith stepped out only to hold out to long on; missing a well-deserved 50 by one run. Kaif and Watson completed to formalities to setup a convincing 7-wicket win with nearly 3 overs to spare.

 

With this win, the Rajasthan Royals move to the second spot of the rankings, behind the Chennai Super Kings.

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