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Rajasthan tame Bangalore attack

An impressive opening stand of 109 between Graeme Smith and Swapnil Asnodkar has helped the Rajasthan Royals post a formidable total of 197/1 in their IPL match against the Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In a match played in sweltering conditions the diminutive Asnodkar, who scored 50 off 44 balls before being caught off the bowling of Anil Kumble, made his intentions very clear by lifting a delivery, from Zaheer Khan, over the ropes for six in the first over. Asnodkar had his fair of luck especially when, twice in a Jacques Kallis over, he edged the ball over the slips for four.

Initially, Smith battled to score, playing and missing on a number of occasions and when he did score, the ball was not coming cleanly out of the middle of his bat. He was content, in the main, to feed Asnodkar the lion’s share of the strike early on.

Their partnership was characterised by some sharp running between the wickets, which helped to frustrate Bangalore’s fielders and once Smith had overcome his early difficulties, the scoreboard really began to tick along. Smith eventually ending up with 75 not out off 49 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

To compound Bangalore’s problems an exciting knock from Shane Watson, who clubbed 48 off 28 balls, really rubbed salt into their wounds.

Bangalore did not help their cause with some sloppy bowling, at times, giving away a number of runs through wides and all of the bowlers came in for some punishment.

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