Raut and Pathan seal Rajasthan victory

PORT ELIZABETH: Rajasthan Royals managed to hold on to their nerves to register a three-wicket victory against Deccan Chargers.

Naman Ojha also got out after both the openers -- Graeme Smith and Swapnil Asnodkar departed for ducks in the very first over, chasing 142 for victory.

Venugopal Rao then put Deccan Chargers on top by sending back both Ravindra Jadeja and Lee Carseldine in the same over.

Rohit Sharma (38) and T Suman (41) stitched a crucial 59-run stand for the fourth wicket to guide Deccan Chargers to 141 for five wickets against Rajasthan Royals in their Premier League match in St. George's Park on Saturday.

Opting to bat, Adam Gilchrist (39) was in a murderous mood and seemed determined to make amends for his last match's flop show.

He struck Munaf for a four and a pull six over fine leg in the second over and then followed it up with two more boundaries of Yusuf Pathan's next over to signal his intentions and take the team score to 27 for no loss after three overs.

Rajasthan Royals, however, started tightening the screws on Chargers run rate from the fifth over by picking up two quick wickets.

Herschelle Gibbs (8) was the first to depart when in-form Yusuf Pathan (1/19) caught him plumb in front of the wicket, however, the South African seemed unhappy with the decision.

Debutant Shane Harwood (2/25) soon joined the party and ensured double bow for the Chargers, picking up Azhar Bilakhia with his very first ball of the tournament, caught inside the circle by Siddharth Trivedi to send the Hyderabad outfit in a spot of bother at 35/2.

Rohit, Suman guide Chargers

From there on, Gilchrist and new man in Rohit found boundaries hard to come by, but kept the scoreboard ticking with ones and twos. The former Australian wicket-keeper, however, cut lose in Shane Warne opening over, dispatching the leggie over long on.

But Ravindra Jadeja (1/22) cut his innings short just two ball before the strategy break when Gilchrist went for a huge heave over the leg side, only to find Pathan, who took a smart catch at the short mid-wicket.

However, the 42-ball 59-run stand between Rohit and Suman finally saved the day for Chargers and ensured a decent total for the table toppers.

Suman hit Warne for a four and six in consecutive balls in the 13th over to set the tone for the Chargers.

Rohit too joined the party, dispatching Munaf over the mid-wicket fence in first ball of the 15th over and then followed it up with a boundary a delivery later.

However, Rohit's over aggression finally did him with Warne latching on to an easy catch off Siddharth Trivedi just after the right-hander hit a six off the bowler in his previous delivery.

Last match's hero Dwayne Bravo failed to make an impact today, only managing 7 off the eight deliveries he faced.

Teams: Deccan Chargers: AC Gilchrist (capt, wk), HH Gibbs, AA Bilakhia, RG Sharma, Y Venugopal Rao, TS Suman, DR Smith, SM Shoaib, PP Ojha, RP Singh, FH Edwards.

Rajasthan Royals: GC Smith, SA Asnodkar, RA Jadeja, YK Pathan, LA Carseldine, NV Ojha (wk), AS Raut, SK Warne (capt), SM Harwood, SK Trivedi, MM Patel.