Rajasthan Royals’ love affair with their home ground stayed intact as they won their third group match on the trot and became the second team, after Chennai Super Kings, to make the semifinals of the Champions League T20.
A thumping nine-wicket win over Perth Scorchers in this Group A encounter ensured the Royals stayed unbeaten at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium this year. After restricting the Australian side to 120, the hosts reached their target with 21 balls to spare.
Royals received a jolt early on when Jason Behrendorff disturbed the woodwork of captain Rahul Dravid in the first over. But that didn’t disrupt their rhythm as Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson did the needful without much hassle, hammering the opposition bowlers with their fluent batting.
Earlier, the Scorchers batsmen tried to hold fort but fell like ninepins. Skipper Simon Katich and Adam Voges provided some respite with their shot-making and at 62 for two, Scorchers were very much in the game.
The Rajasthan bowlers – especially James Faulkner, Pravin Tambe and Kevon Cooper – gave no room to the batsmen and kept them dancing to their tunes.
SCOREBOARD: Perth Scorchers: L Davis c Cooper b Faulkner 18, A Agar c Malik b Watson 10, S Katich st Samson b Tambe 12, A Voges c Faulkner b Cooper 27, H Cartwright lbw Cooper 5, A Turner b Cooper 11, T Triffitt c & b Tambe 2, J Paris b Faulkner 2, J Mennie c Binny b Cooper 2, J Behendroff not out 12, M Beer run out 3. Extras (b 4, lb 2, nb 2, w 8) 16. Total (all out in 20 overs) 120.
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-29, 3-62, 4-76, 5-77, 6-80, 7-85, 8-97, 9-97, 10-119.
Bowling: Menaria 2-0-11-0, Malik 2-0-22-0, Faulkner 4-0-15-2, Watson 3-0-23-1, Binny 1-0-7-0, Tambe 4-0-17-2, Cooper 4-0-18-4.
Rajasthan Royals: R Dravid b Behendroff 0, A Rahane not out 62, S Samson not out 50. Extras (lb 1, w 8) 9. Total (for 1 wkt in 16.3 overs) 121.
Fall of wicket: 1-1.
Bowling: Behendroff 4-0-28-1, Paris 4-0-28-0, Mennie 2.3-0-22-0, Beer 4-0-26-0, Cartwright 1-0-10-0, Agar 1-0-6-0.