Javinder Singh | cricket20
The Rajasthan Royals hold a narrow advantage after restricting the Kochi Tuskers Kerala to a total of just 110 on a slow turning wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Having won the toss the Tuskers elected to bat first but they struggled to get going on a pace less wicket which suited Shane Warne (16-3) and Johan Botha (19-1) as the Royals spinners took control of the game.
Parthiv Patel (32) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) lead the Tuskers recovery after the loss of 3 early wickets thanks to a 4th wicket partnership of 48 before the Royals struck back to leave the Tuskers innings in tatters.
Warne lead the way picking up the wickets of Patel and Jedeja in consecutive balls in the 16th over before Raiphi Gomez (0) and Thisara Perera (1) threw away their wickets in the Siddharth Trivedi’s next over as the Tuskers lost 4 wickets in the space of 10 deliveries.
The collapse showed no signs of abating as Vinay Kumar (5) joined his teammates back in the dug out after he top edged a delivery from Amit Singh which was easily caught by Shane Watson at third man to leave the Tuskers 98-8 after a wild 15 deliveries.
With the Tuskers in free fall, Kedar Jadhav (5) and Muttiah Muralitharan (5) held their nerve adding 10 vital runs during a 9th wicket partnership for the visitors before Jadhav departed with just one delivery remaining.
The Tuskers woes were completed when RP Singh (1) was run out from the final delivery of the innings after he attempted a suicidal 2nd run.
The Tuskers got off to the worst possible start losing VVS Laxman (8) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (13) in the space of 5 deliveries to as the slumped to 28-2 after 4.1 overs.
All ready missing Brendon McCullum who had been ruled out because of a shoulder injury the Tuskers lost Laxman in the 3rd over after he was run out by Rahul Dravid.
Jayawardene quickly followed Laxman back to the dugout after he was bowled by Botha’s first delivery of the match which came off the bottom of the openers thigh pad and rolled down onto the stumps.
Brad Hodge added 8 runs before he dragged a delivery from Warne until his stumps to leave the Tuskers 42-3 after 7.4 overs and in need of a big recovery from Patel and Jedeja.