It was clear that his two batting failures were just blips on the radar as Andrew
Symonds stormed back into the IPL with the fastest century of the tournament - an
innings that included powerful straight fours and sixes, mostly by making room in
the crease. Deccan Chargers got their first above-par score of the tournament - 214
- a total which Rajasthan Royals would not find easy to chase.
There had been a lot said about Symonds being the second-most expensive player in
the league and if there was any need for him to prove that he was priced right,
Symonds did it today. He was dropped on 76 by Yusuf Pathan but otherwise there was
no moment of error in his innings.
Even Shane Warne ran out of strategies when he had to bowl to Symonds. While his
first over went for six runs, his next two went for 26. Siddharth Trivedi, unlucky
to have Symonds dropped off his bowling, also suffered a brutal assault off
Symonds's bat, going for 19 runs in an over.
Symonds did not indulge in many unconventional strokes - except a short ball that he
pulled tennis-style late in the innings - and stuck mostly to back-foot drives and
flicks. He reached his half-century off 29 balls and then took only 18 more to get
to his hundred. His 111-run partnership with Rohit Sharma, who scored a half-century
in the previous match, ruined the Rajasthan bowlers' early efforts.
Deccan desperately needed a win after losing badly in the first two games and
Symonds, along with Sharma, set up a massive total. Unfortunately, his bowling
wasn't as exemplary as his batting, and Deccan crashed to their third straight