Watson leads Royals to victory
Shane Watson excelled with the bat after disappointing with the ball to lead the Rajasthan Royals to a 6 wicket victory over the Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
The Shane Warne-led team beat Kings XI Punjab by six wickets. It was the Preity Zinta-owned team second straight loss after their reverse against Chennai in their opening match.
The Australian needed just 49 balls for his match-winning knock, one that included five hits to the fence and five huge ones over it, as Rajasthan Royals chased their 167-run target with 11 balls to spare.
Watson, who hit the ball so hard that one of his bat broke even as he hit a six, was well supported by an equally impressive Ravindra Jadeja and the duo put on runs in an undefeated fifth wicket stand. The under-19 world cup winning star scored a quickfire 25-ball 36.
Watson also was involved in a 51-run fourth wicket partnership with another Australian Darren Lehmann (17), a partnership that virtually laid the foundation for the win after the home team had had three batsmen back in the pavilion with just 48 runs on board.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne produced a superb 3 for19 to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 166 for eight.
The Australian spin legend's act of leading from the front overshadowed a chancy but strokeful half century by his opposite number Yuvraj Singh (57) in the battle between the first match losers at the Sawai Man Singh stadium.
The visitors would have been in a worse position had Yuvraj not been dropped twice when he was on 15 and 27, the first time off Warne and the second off Siddharth Trivedi.
Warne, however, removed Yuvraj, who was caught and bowled while trying to sweep the retired spin legend. Yuvraj struck six fours and three huge sixes in his 34-ball innings.
Warne also cut short Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara's explosive but short innings of 20 made from eight balls and studded with six fours, besides removing opener James Hopes (16).
The other opener had promised a lot at the top of order with two huge sixes off Munaf Patel who, however, had the last laugh clean bowling the young Punjab batsman for 26 (3x4, 2x6).
India leg-spinner Piyush Chawla made a late flourish with an unbeaten 11-ball 24 to take to a competitive score.
For the Royals, Trivedi returned figures of 2-25 while Munaf took one wicket for 36 runs.