Deepankar Kaur | cricket20
Shane Watson smashed 89 runs from just 47 deliveries to help the Rajasthan Royals cruise to a comprehensive 10 wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians which leaves their play off hopes hanging by a thread.
The defeat leaves the Indians facing a must win game at Eden Gardens against the Kolkata Knights Riders, should the Kings XI Punjab win their final group match against the Deccan Chargers tomorrow night.
Having look unbeatable at the start of the tournament the Indians could now face the prospect of missing out on the play offs all together should results go against this weekend.
The Indians will be left to reflect on a disappointing night which was only partially saved by Rohit Sharma who scored 58 runs to help the Indians set the Royals a run chase of 134.
With Watson (89) in his stride the Royals cruised to victory, making light work of the Mumbai Indians total of 133-5 with over 7 overs to spare to end their campaign in style.
The Aussie produced a memorable innings which burst into life during the 6th over when he dispatched Lasith Malinga for two boundaries and a six over mid wicket to silence the home crowd.
He followed this up with another six and a boundary off the bowling of Dhawal Kulkarni in the next over as he raced passed 50 from just 30 deliveries to give the Royals the advantage.
The display of big hitting continued in the 8th over after Harbhajan Singh was dispatched for three consecutive boundaries as the Royals hurtled towards a simple victory.
Watson ended the innings in style, dispatching James Franklin for a boundary through mid wicket at the start of the 14th over to end the innings 89 not out, his 47 ball innings included 9 fours and 6 sixes.
With Watson is sublime form, Rahul Dravid played the perfect supporting role, scoring 43 from 32 deliveries to help the Royals seal a comprehensive victory without losing a wicket.
The bowling effort summed up the Indians day after their top order were silenced, Rohit Sharma (58) led the recovery to score a vital half century after had arrived at the crease in the 4th over with the Indians 17-2 after the lose of Ambati Rayudu (2).
Sharma shared a 4th wicket stand of 53 with Kieron Pollard after the Royals had restricted the Indians to a total of only 61-2 after 11 overs thanks to some impressive bowling early on from Ankeet Chavan (17-0) who led the way with the ball.
Kieron Pollard added a quick fire 20 from 18 deliveries during his partnership with Sharma before he was bowled by Shane Watson (19-3) at the end of the 18th over.
Having announced his retirement earlier this month Shane Warne (30-1) singed off from competitive cricket with the wicket of Sharma in his last ever over to end his glorious careers with a fairy tale ending.
Sachin Tendulkar led the way early on scoring 31 runs from 35 deliveries before he picked out Watson down at third man in the 12th over after he cut a shirt delivery from Amit Singh to leave the Indians 65-3.
The Indians skipper should have gone twice though early on in his innings before he had reached double figures after he was trapped LBW on two separate occasions by young spinner Chavan.
Tendulkar was reprieved twice by umpire Paul Reiffel even though HawkEye showed both deliveries would have hit the stumps; the first appeal was the most obvious with HawkEye showing the ball would have hit half way up middle stump.
Despite the let the off, the Indians started their innings poorly, losing Tirumalasetti Suman (5) and Rayudu inside the first four overs as the home side struggled early on after Tendulkar won the toss and elected to bat.