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Yusuf Pathan powers Rajasthan Royals to victory against Deccan Chargers

March 27, 2010

Phenomenal Yusuf Pathan went on a six-hitting spree as Rajasthan Royals crushed defending champions Deccan Chargers by eight wickets and tore apart the form book of Indian Premier League here Friday.

Yusuf struck eight towering sixes in his unbeaten 73 runs off 34 balls that saw Royals chase down the victory target of 149 runs in just 15.4 overs. It was Royals opener Micahel Lumb, who gave an explosive start to their chase with a 32-ball 45 that included seven fours, four smashed in an RP Singh over.

With Lumb on fire, Royals blasted 55 runs off 21 balls before losing their first wicket in Naman Ojha (14).

From there on it turned out to be a one-man show as Pathan whacked the bowlers all over the park sending the ball soaring over the stadium effortlessly amid huge roar from the home crowd. Deccan Chargers skipper Adam Gichrist ran out of ideas with Yusuf in such murderous mood.

When Yusuf hit the winning six off Rahul Sharma, it was his 19th six of the tournament in six matches, the most in this year’s IPL. Bangalore’s Robin Uthappa and Super Kings’ Mathew Hayden are way behind at second and third spot with 12 and 11 sixes.

Pathan, who had struck nine sixes en route IPL’s fastest 100 off 37 balls in their opening match against Mumbai Indians, took his runs tally to 242 at a strike rate of 181.95, the best by any batsmen so far.

Rajasthan Royals, who lost their first three matches, bounced back with three wins in a trot that saw them jump to third place with six points. Deccan Chargers lost their second match of the tournament and are placed behind Royals at fourth position.

The Royals suddenly looks a formidable outfit. They had a dream run in the inaugural IPL in 2008 when they went on to become the champions without any star power in their ranks.

Charismatic Shane Warne had inspired the team and plotted downfall of their opponents.

Tonight Warne again was back to his best, bowling with guile and spot on with his strategies.

With Warne leading the attack, the Royals bowled intelligently to restrict a strong batting side like Deccan Chargers to 148 for nine.

Warne looked in ominous form as he had dangerous Herschelle Gibbs (25) stumped with a beautiful flighted delivery. Warne showed the way conceding only 15 runs in four overs and his bowling changes did the trick.

Express fast Shaun Tait was the pick of the bowler, getting three wickets for just 22 runs. Sumit Narwal claimed two wickets.

Rohit Sharma, the top scorer for Chargers with 49 runs, hit three sixes and two fours before falling to Tait.

Abhishek Jhunjunwala was outstanding in the field as he effected two run outs.

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