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Royal hold the advantage after Taylor blitz

New Zealander Ross Taylor hit a quick fire 35 to help the Rajasthan Royals record a competitive total of 159-4 against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Ross Taylor and Rahul Dravid (35) lead the way for the home side but an impressive bowling display by Shakib Al Hasan (2-31) and Yusuf Pathan (4-2) helped the visitors stay in contention.

Having been put into bat by Gautam Gambhir, the Royals got off to a slow start on a tired looking wicket which the Knight Riders bowlers used to great effect with a mixture of short and slower deliveries.

Although Jaques Kallis conceded 10 runs in the 3rd over the Royals struggled to get their innings started and were doubt a further blow in the next over when Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan struck with just his third delivery.

The 24 year old, playing in his first match since arriving in India after Bangladesh’s 3-0 ODI series defeat against Australia, struck with a slower delivery which Amit Paunikar (9) edged to Kallis at short third man to leave the home side 26-1.

Surprisingly, with Shane Watson and Johan Botha in the line up the Royals promoted Ashok Menaria up the order but he didn’t disappoint during a 2nd wicket partnership of 52 with Dravid.

The pair finally broke the shackles to get the Royals innings underway and although the partnership wasn’t explosive they did give the home side a solid base to push on during the second half of the innings.

With the game evenly balanced the Knight Riders regained the upper hand thanks to former Royals all-rounder, Pathan, who struck twice to remove Dravid (35) and Menaria (27) in the space of 3 deliveries in the 12th which reduced the Royals to 79-3.

The dismissal of Dravid brought Watson to the crease fresh from his dismantling of the Bangladesh bowling attack for Australia last week and the Aussie wasted little time announcing his arrival with a massive six off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan in the 14th over.

Watson, in partnership with Taylor put together a 4th wicket partnership of 45 which put the home side in control before Shakib Al Hasan struck to remove Watson.

Having just been dispatched for a six the Bangladesh skipper responded brilliantly with a fuller delivery which Watson (22) failed to slog sweep for another six as the ball crashed into the stumps.

Despite the lose Taylor and new partner Botha (12) continued to attack the bowlers to help the Royals reach a competitive total of 159-4 as they look to make it three wins out of three.

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