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Delhi chase 193 for place in final

Yusuf Pathan hit a whirlwind 45 while in-form Shane Watson made a quick-fire 52 as Rajasthan Royals piled up an impressive 192-9 against Delhi Daredevils.

The hard-hitting Pathan, named in the Indian 15 for next month's tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan earlier in the day, creamed the hapless Delhi attack, which included Glenn McGrath, to hit four sixes and three fours in his 21-ball knock.

The 25-year-old Baroda all-rounder took over the attacking reins from all-rounder Watson, who stroked his way to a fine half century in 29 balls with four sixes and three fours after openers Graeme Smith (25 in 21 balls) and Swapnil Asnodkar (39 in 21 balls) launched the innings on a sound note.

The efforts of Watson and Pathan helped Rajasthan Royals add 109 runs in the last 10 overs after the strong beginning provided by Smith and the pint-sized Asnodkar who put on 65 runs in 40 balls.

Watson put on breezy 52 runs from 29 balls with Mohammad Kaif (12) after Rajasthan Royals slid to 76 for three from 65 for no loss in quick time.

The innings started on a slow note with Smith being hampered by a pulled muscle while taking a run. The run-rate perked up through some audacious shots played by Asnodkar who often took the aerial route and hit a six and six fours.

The right-hander, after edging McGrath for his first four in the third over, struck Mohammad Asif for three fours in the fourth over - a slash, a lofted off drive and a hook - to give the innings the much-needed forward push.

Smith then took over and slammed McGrath for three consecutive fours as the score raced to 43 for no loss in five overs.

Asnodkar had a lucky escape off the first ball of V Yo Mahesh spell when Farveez Maharoof dropped a sitter at long leg. Asnodkar celebrated the escape by swinging the same bowler to the same area for a six to raise the 50 of the innings in only 33 balls.

Maharoof made amends by sending back both the Rajasthan openers in the last three balls of his first over.

Smith was caught flicking at deep square leg by a diving Shikhar Dhawan and then Asnodkar was dismissed at the same score of 65, caught at backward point off the Sri Lankan.

Maharoof also accounted for Sohail Tanvir, promoted up the order by his skipper Shane Warne as a pinch-hitter, when he miscued a swing to leg and the ball ballooned behind to stumper Dinesh Karthik.

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