Pathan powers Royals to victory over Chargers

Ahmedabad: Bowling can become an occupational hazard when Yusuf Pathan is firing on all cylinders. Deccan Chargers’ Chaminda Vaas, Pragyan Ojha and Rahul Sharma realised this during their Indian Premier League match ncounter against Rajasthan Royals at the Motera Stadium on Friday.

Royals, chasing Chargers’ 148-9, raced to 151-2 in 15.4 overs thanks to Pathan’s fiery knock. Royals’ opener Michael Lumb gave RP Singh the charge, stealing four fours off the Chargers medium-pacer. The other opener, Naman Ojha, took on left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha as five overs yielded 50 for the home side. Pathan then lit up the night with fireworks off his now famous bat, clearing the ropes at will for an audacious half-century off just 23 balls. Pathan struck eight sixes and two fours in his unbeaten 34-ball knock.

Earlier, Royals’ skipper Shane Warne (1-15 off four overs) stepped into the battle in the seventh over and struck with his fourth ball. Even an explosive batsmen like Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma curbed their instincts while facing the legendary leg-spinner. Herschelle Gibbs, on the other hand, paid the penalty for throwing caution to the winds. Warne lured Gibbs out for a drive and got the ball to turn away for wicketkeeper Naman Ojha to do the rest.

Only Rohit Sharma settled down to another day at work with two big shots off Siddarth Trivedi. Rohit got a life when

he was on 30. Swinging Pathan

to the midwicket fence, he

saw Adam Voges put down a simple chance. He was eventually out after a fighting knock of 49

off 35 balls.

Chargers had slumped to 71-4 due to Andrew Symonds’s sluggish running between the wickets as he failed to beat Jhunjhunwala’s throw from the deep

to his captain. Jhunjhunwala also ran out Venugopala Rao

with a direct hit. Shaun Tait, the pick of the Royals bowlers with 3-22, sent back VVS Laxman early and came back to dismiss

T Suman and Rohit.