Royals cruise into CL semis

Rajasthan Royals (File)
Rajasthan Royals (File)
Jaipur - The Rajasthan Royals cruised into the semi-finals of the Champions League T20 with a crushing nine-wicket victory over the Perth Scorchers at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday night.

According to the supersport.com website, it was a victory set up by a magnificent bowling performance, led by West Indies seamer Kevon Cooper, who took four for 18 to restrict the Australians to a score of 119.

He took two wickets in his second over and followed it up with two in his next over, at that point celebrating the incredible figures of 3-0-6-4.

Hope may have flared briefly for the Scorchers when left-arm seamer Jason Behrendorff bowled Royals captain Rahul Dravid with the fourth ball of the innings, with just one run on the board, but Sanju Samson and Ajinkya Rahane were untroubled as they secured the win with 21 balls remaining.

Rahane ended with 62, with five fours and two sixes off 53 balls, supported by the 18-year-old Samson whose 50 included six fours and a six.

The Royals now face Otago Volts on October 1 with the target of topping the pool and gaining home-ground advantage.

Comfortable in the knowledge that they had two wins out of two in this series, and had not been beaten at home for 10 successive matches, the Royals put the young Scorchers side in to bat.

The Australian outfit looked good at 62 for two in the ninth over, when veteran leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, a few days shy of his 42nd birthday entered the fray.

He immediately made his presence felt, having the captain Simon Katich stumped, heralding a collapse from 62 for two to 85 for seven in 36 balls.

The young and inexperienced lower order put up little resistance, which left the Royals needing just 120 runs for victory at six an over.

It was nowhere near enough once the Royal bowlers got into the rhythm. Tambe ended with two for 17, and James Faulkner kept up the pressure with a brilliant spell of two for 15.

Teams:

Royals: R Dravid (captain), AM Rahane, SV Samson (wicketkeeper), SR Watson, STR Binny, BJ Hodge, AL Menaria, JP Faulkner, K Cooper, VS Malik, PV Tambe

Scorchers: LM Davis, AC Agar, SM Katich (captain), AC Voges, AJ Turner, HWR Cartwright, TIF Triffitt (wicketkeeper), JS Paris, JP Behrendorff, MA Beer, JM Mennie 
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