Johannebsurg - Stuart Binny became the unlikely hero for
Rajasthan Royals with an aggressive innings of 32 off 13 balls to help defeat
the Pune Warriors by five wickets in Jaipur on Sunday night, reports the supersport.com website.
Set a target of 179 after a fine display by
Pune, the Royals were given a solid foundation by Rahul Dravid (58) and Ajinkya
Rahane (67), but just when they looked as if they were faltering, losing three
wickets in three overs, including the dangerous big-hitters Shane Watson and
Brad Hodge, up stepped Binny.
He launched into googly spinner Rahul
Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to wrest back the initiative, hammering two sixes
and two fours and running hard to edge his team closer to the finish line.
VIDEO: Rajasthan Royals v Pune Warriors, highlights
They needed five off the last over, and
while the Warriors’ hopes were raised when Wayne Parnell took the wicket of
Sanju Samson, Binny drove through the cordon for the winning four.
Dravid, who promoted himself to opener,
played an artistic innings, particularly on the leg side, although it was a
classic cover drive which brought up his 2 000th IPL run.
When he mistimed a straight drive off
Angelo Mathews after facing just 40 balls and hitting eight fours and a six,
the scene had been set at 98 for one with eight overs to go.
Now the senior batsman, Rahane opened up
with authority. The required run rate, which started out at 8.95, had crept up
over 10, but he turned the tide by hammering 17 runs off Mathews in an over
which eventually cost the Sri Lankan seamer 21 runs.
It was enough to earn him the man of the
match award, but it needed Binny to break the Warriors’ hearts.
The visitors owed their challenging total
to Robin Uthappa, who led the way with a superb 54 off 41 balls, and his
opening partner Aaron Finch, who scored 45 off 32.
As they have so many times this season,
they set off like the chargers depicted on their shirts, hammering 61 runs in
the power play and putting on 97 for the first wicket, when Finch chopped onto
The innings wobbled when Yuvraj Singh went
for 15 and Uthappa was run out by some smart work by young wicketkeeper Sanju
Samson, but Mitchell Marsh hit 35 off 21 balls with two fours and three sixes.
Mathews helped him add 41 for the fourth
wicket with 18 off 15 balls.
It gave the Pune Warriors high hopes of
adding a third win to their dismal season, but the Royals’ powerful line-up,
and Binny, had other ideas.
It put the Royals back in the fight with
three other teams in second place on the log.