Cricinfo: Indian Premier League 2008
Cricinfo



39th match: Rajasthan Royals v Bangalore Royal Challengers at Jaipur, May 17, 2008

Smith sets up Rajasthan win

Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith anchored Rajasthan Royals.innings with an unbeaten 75, as they posted an imposing 197, and Bangalore Royal Challengers were hardly able to mount a challenge during the chase.

Opening the batting with Swapnil Asnodkar, Smith added 109 in a mere 12.2 overs - the second century stand for the first wicket in the tournament. Rahul Dravid, the Bangalore Royal Challengers. captain, decided to field despite afternoon temperatures soaring to 48 degress Celsius, and the hammering at the hands of Smith and Asnodkar, both of whom scored fifties, would have surely deflated the side which has struggled through the tournament.

Rajasthan got the rub of the green as both batsmen pinged the third-man region regularly. After seven overs Rajasthan were motoring along at 63 without loss, mostly thanks to Asnodkar, but Smith soon joined in the act, making room and striking the ball cleanly over mid-on and midwicket. Abdur Razzak became the first Bangladesh player to get an IPL game, but his start was hardly auspicious: he began with a no-ball which was edged for four by Smith, and the free-hit was deposited on the midwicket roof.

Smith reached his half-century off 34 balls, pulling the last ball of Kumble's spell over midwicket for six. Smith continued looking for the boundaries, while Shane Watson teed off at the other end. He hit Zaheer Khan for two fours in the 17^th over, and didn.t impress fellow South African Jacques Kallis when he got an outside edge while playing across the line, the ball raced between the wicketkeeper and short third man to the boundary.

Smith ended on 75 off 49 balls, and now has over 300 runs in the tournament, at an impressive average of 50.16. Bangalore collapsed during their chase, and despite Rahul Dravid.s 36-ball 75, the result was a foregone conclusion. Smith also pocketed the Man-of-the-Match award for his efforts.


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