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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rajasthan Royals Becomes IPL 2008 Champion

Rajasthan Royals has become the champion of IPL 2008 Twenty20 tournament. Defeating Chennai Super Kings by 3 wickets in an exciting final, Rajasthan Royals is now the first champion of Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the victory did not come easily as the victory of Rajasthan Royals was decided on the very last ball of the match, when Sohail Tanvir pushed Balaji on the leg side for a single which was the winning run for Rajasthan Royals. Earlier, Yusuf Pathan and Shane Watson set up a winning platform for Rajasthan Royals with their all round performance.

Led by Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals played brilliantly well throughout the tournament. Out of 16 matches, Rajasthan Royals lost only three matches. In the final match, Rajasthan Royals won the toss and decided to bowl first, thinking off the pacer friendly wicket of Dr DY Patil Sports Academy stadium. Batting first, Chennai Super Kings openers started it a bit slowly, but put on 39 runs in the opening stand within 5.2 overs. Opener Parthiv Patel scored second highest 38 runs off 33 balls. Coming in one-down, Suresh Raina went on to score highest 43 runs from only 30 balls with a boundary and two over boundaries. Later, Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a quick fire innings of 29 runs facing just 17 balls, hitting one four and two six’s. For Rajasthan Royals, Yusuf Pathan played an incredible role taking three top order wickets. Because of tight bowling of Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan, Chennai’s innings stopped at 163 for 5 at the end of 20 overs.

Chasing 163 runs, Rajasthan Royals did not get a good start losing three wickets on 42 runs. Then Yusuf Pathan and Shane Watson added 65 runs off 45 balls in a crucial fourth wicket partnership. Watson played a useful innings of 28 runs off 19 balls, while Yusuf Pathan completed his fourth IPL fifty before getting run out at 56 from just 39 balls, leaving Rajasthan 21 runs behind the victory. Shane Warne and Sohail Tanvir batted with sheer responsibility guiding Rajasthan Royals to victory.

For excellent all round performance, Yusuf Pathan was awarded with the man of the match award, while Shane Watson received the man of the series award. Highest run scorer, Shaun Marsh of Kings XI Punjab was awarded with orange cap as highest run scorer in the tournament. Sohail Tanvir received the purple cap as the highest wicket taker in the tournament.

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