Chandila strikes early after Rahane’s solid knock takes the host to a commanding total
Ajit Chandila, an unheralded name in domestic cricket, will have a tale to narrate many years from now. Many may not believe it! He got two legends of the game, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, in the span of eight balls and put Rajasthan Royals in cruise mode.
Tendulkar and Ponting were both foxed into making false strokes and Chandila lived a dream. How many bowlers can claim to have scalped such stalwarts with such felicity?
At 29, Chandila is not really an athlete, not possessing the best of actions, but he delivered as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Mumbai Indians by 87 runs in the Pepsi Indian Premier League-VI match at the SMS Stadium here on a pleasant Wednesday night.
Chandila had a wonderful hat-trick at the same venue in the last edition against Pune Warriors, his victims being Sourav Ganguly, Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa. But, this night was more memorable.
Mumbai Indians was never in the frame once it lost Tendulkar and Ponting. The tame dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard hastened the collapse.
Mumbai Indians was crushed by a motivated Rajasthan Royals, which had registered its best total of this edition.
The home team wasted no time in launching a thrilling challenge. All the bowlers, barring Rishi Dhawan in the first spell, were mauled by Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Dishant Yagnik.
It was a hectic pace that the top order set and the benchmark only motivated the other batsmen to maintain the tempo.
Watson was in a punishing mood, some straight-bat shots and some heaves saw him scatter the field and leave Ponting a worried man as Lasith Malinga conceded 16 runs in an over. Six bowlers had been tested by Ponting by the ninth over.
More than desperation it was an effort to test the batsmen with variety. It worked when Watson edged a shoulder high catch behind. Then Yagnik, promoted in the order, did a decent job before falling to a reverse sweep.
The team needed Rahane to fire in the second half of the innings and he did by clouting Johnson for three fours in the last over after Brad Hodge had begun with a six.
Wisely Rahul Dravid chose to push his big hitters and the move clicked to the delight of the home fans. From a healthy 88 for one in 10 overs, Rajasthan accumulated another 91 with the last over fetching 19.
Mumbai, however, woefully lacked the will to fight.