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Watson leads vicious Rajasthan onslaught

Aussie Shane Watson led a vicious onslaught on the Delhi Daredevils bowling as the Rajasthan Royals scored 192 for nine in their Indian Premier League semifinal at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

Graeme Smith (25), Swapnil Asnodkar (39), Watson (52) and Yusuf Pathan (45) all treated the Delhi bowlers with disdain, but Watson was the rudest of the lot as he clubbed a 28-ball half-century.

Rajasthan were helped by poor Delhi bowling and fielding, and it was fortunate for the Daredevils that Farveez Maharoof took three wickets in two overs to briefly halt the momentum of a fine start.

Smith was struck down by a hamstring injury in the second over but still managed to hit five fours in 21 balls, while Asnodkar belted six fours and a six off his 21 deliveries as the openers put on 65 off 40 balls.

Maharoof removed Smith, brilliantly caught by Shikhar Dhawan diving forward at deep square-leg, Asnodkar and pinch-hitter Sohail Tanvir (five), but it was always a walk in the park for Watson.

He gave himself a good view of the bowling, scoring ten off his first ten balls, before getting stuck in with successive sixes off medium-pacer Yo Mahesh.

Pathan was able to grow the run-rate even further as he slammed three fours and four sixes off just 21 balls, although the loss of two wickets in the last over of the innings did leave Rajasthan short of 200.

Maharoof was the pick of the bowlers with three for 34, although Mohammad Asif bowled a great final over and finished with one for 32, while leg-spinner Amit Mishra took two for 37.

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