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Rajasthan win thriller via Super Over

The Rajasthan Royals claimed victory in the IPL's first ever Super Over after a dramatic end to their game against the Kolkata Knight Riders at Newlands.

The Indian Premier League (IPL)’s first Super Over produced a super finish, at Newlands, late on Thursday.

Ishant Sharma’s run out on the last ball, tied the scores at 150, and though the Kolkata Knight Riders lost a wicket more (seven down), the Super Over became necessary.

The Knights managed 15 for one, from the over bowled by little-known medium-pacer Kamran Khan. The Rajasthan Royals did one better, off only four deliveries, with T20 specialist Yusuf Pathan smashing Ajantha Mendis for 18 runs (6,2,6,4).

It was heart-stopping stuff and no Bollywood scriptwriter could have authored something more dramatic. Fittingly, it all unfolded in the presence of, among others, Shah Rukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty.

With the Royals winning the bowl-out, they picked up their first full points in the tournament. As for the Knights, it was their second loss in three matches and the climb will get tougher.

The match, of course, saw the pendulum often swing wildly.

Till the Knights’ 16th over, the Royals had been on course to defend 150 for six, a total which didn’t seem challenging enough. Yet, a combination of astute captaincy by Shane Warne and poor shots pushed the Knights to the brink.

With five overs remaining, the Knights needed as many as 53, but the 16th over, when Sourav Ganguly launched into Munaf Patel and clouted two sixes, quickly changed equations.

Stripped of much of his sheen in the lead-up to this edition of the IPL, Sourav would have been the toast of the Knights had he not fallen on the penultimate ball, leaving Ishant to get two from the last delivery.

The former captain, strangely pushed to No.5 in the batting order (behind even Laxmi Ratan Shukla), top-scored with 46.

If it was war between the Knights and the Royals, there were battles within that too.

Shah Rukh versus Shilpa; John Buchanan versus Warne. There were skirmishes as well, like between the Knights’ Anureet Singh and the Royals’ Abhishek Raut in the first innings’ last over. And, till he was around, Chris Gayle versus the Royals’ bowlers.

The one clear winner was Warne, who was brilliant. Whether it was opening the attack with MoM Yusuf, who bowls off-breaks, or marshalling the rest of his resources, the champion was spot on.

If anything, Warne proved that captains win matches, not coaches or cricket managers. “Coaches are for the junior levels,” he said, in an obvious dig at Buchanan, with whom he never quite got along in the Australia dressing room.

On the eve of the match, Buchanan (the Knights’ head of cricket operations) had told The Telegraph that his boys wouldn’t really have to do anything very different.

Actually, they needed to. Making four changes in the XI alone wouldn’t have done the trick.

Shah Rukh, the Knights’ principal owner, may think differently, but his team is short on quite a few things. Passion being one of them.

source - telegraphindia.com
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