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Mascarenhas stars as Royals beat Middlesex

Dimitri Mascarenhas' all-rounder exploits scripted Rajasthan Royals' thumping 46-run win over Middlesex Panthers in the one-off British Asian Cup Twenty20 match at Lord's.

In what was Royals captain Shane Warne's swansong appearance on English soil, Mascarenhas blasted an unbeaten two-run-a-ball 32 to help the side reach 162 in their allotted overs.

The English all-rounder then returned to claim Neil Dexter and the dangerous Owais Shah as Middlesex managed 116/7 to fall 47 run shy of the victory target in the match staged to aid the British Asian Trust.

For the Royals, Faiz Fazal (27), Swapnil Asnodkar (41) and Mohammad Kaif (41) shone with the bat, while Dawid Malan (34) top scored for Middlesex before becoming Warne's lone victim of the match.

Warne, who returns to Las Vegas where he is playing in the World Poker Series, finished with a decent 4-0-24-1 figure besides another win under the belt.

Put into bat, the Royals got off to a flying start as Fazal and Asnodkar put on 55 runs inside seven overs.

Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik did remove Fazal in the seventh over but with Kaif too playing smart cricket, runs were easy to come by.

Their 50-run association was snapped when Asnodkar fell to Malan. Naman Ojha (10) and Justin Langer (1) fell in quick succession too but Mascarenhas' unbeaten 16-ball 32, with two fours and a six in it, took them past the 160-mark.

In reply, Middlesex never really got going. Returning to the Indian Premier League outfit after missing the second edition of IPL, Pakistani pacer Sohail Tanvir removed Billy Godleman (4) in the fourth over to draw first blood and Middlesex never really looked like chasing the target.

Mascarenhas first removed Owais Shah (1) and then got rid of Dexter (26). Malan and Gareth Berg (26) did try their best but it was not enough in the end as Middlesex finished at 116/7.

For the Royals, Tavir once again underlined his stature as a Twenty20 bowler, claiming three wickets conceding 20 runs in his four overs.

Mascarenhas was the obvious choice for the Man of the Match award for his sterling show.

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