Aussie all rounder Shane Watson, showed all what he can do when he in punishing mood . Watson came to the party when the Royals needed it most in its IPL 2015 campaign with blazing ton for the Rajasthan Royals and powered them to the play- offs.
The Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai saw the big Australian hammered his second IPL century to help Rajasthan win by nine runs against Kolkata Knight Riders. The victory helped Rajasthan seal their spot in the play-offs, pushing the defending champions on the brink of elimination.
Watson carried his bat for 104 not out off just 59 balls, the assault taking Rajasthan to 199 for 6 and shadowing Andre Russell’s excellent 3 for 32. Watson had handed over the captaincy reins to Steve Smith to concentrate on his batting – but he ended up playing a proper captain’s knock.
KKr did not give up and made a valiant attempt. A calm and cool Dhawal Kulkarni showed a safe pair of hands to bring an end to Andre Russell’s bludgeoning innings and Rajasthan Royals saw the crucial league match against Kolkata Knight Riders tilt in its favour on a hot and humid evening at the Brabourne Stadium.Kulkarni later snapped up Yusuf Pathan at the same position — long-off — to add to the Knight Riders’ misery. Russell and Yusuf had added 55 off 31 balls for the fourth wicket. The ‘home’ side, which appeared to be wilting under the assault, held its nerve and the catches that came its way. Shakib Al Hasan and Umesh Yadav raised a flicker of hope, smashing 20 off the penultimate over bowled by James Faulkner. However, Morris, who took four wickets, sent back the Bangladesh all-rounder as KKR fell short by nine runs, chasing a target of 200.
It was a memorable day at the CCI, but the choice of two players confounded the critics — Azhar Mahmood for Sunil Narine in the KKR side and left-arm seamer Brainder Sran in the Royals team.
Earlier Shane Watson was playing second fiddle to Ajinkya Rahane until the latter fell while attempting a suicidal second run, took control of the proceedings and anchored the Royals innings after it elected to bat. Royals made 66 in the Power Play overs as the Australian all-rounder cover-drove and whipped Mahmood for two boundaries, square-drove Yadav and followed it with a straight hit.He employed the sweep against left-arm spinner Shakib and also lofted him over long-off.At the other end, Rahane, too, played some delectable shots as seven fours and two sixes were struck in the first six overs. Russell caused a middle-order slump, claiming the wickets of Smith, Sanju Samson and James Faulkner.
However, Watson loomed large at the other end, cutting loose with some fierce powerful shots. It was Watson’s second century in 77 IPL innings, the earlier one (101) coming against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai in April 2013. Royals had lost that match, but this one proved different.