On what turned out to be a veteran cricketers night at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium,Brad Hodge,age 38,and Pravin Tambe,41,engineered a comfortable 30-run victory for the Rajasthan Royals against the Highveld Lions of South Africa in a group A league match .
The Royals,in the process,reached top of the table with eight points in two matches.
While Hodges 23-ball-46 helped Royals reach a comfortable 183 for five in 20 overs,leg-spinner Tambe had his moment under the sun with dream figures of 3-0-15-4 to restrict Lions to 153 for nine in 20 overs.
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Tambe,a journeyman club cricketer from Mumbai,ran through the Lionss middle-order with his quick leg-breaks. Tambe cleaned up Hardus Viljoen (24) and rival captain Alviro Peterson (40) with fastish deliveries,he mixed it up cleverly getting Jean Symes with one flighted outside off-stump and Sohail Tanvir with a fullish delivery that found plumb in-front.
For someone,who just had one wicket from three T20 matches (all played during last IPL),Tambe was on spot from the word go. By the end of his spell,the shouts of Pravin,Pravin by the Royals supporters was a fitting tribute to the man whose best days in Mumbai club cricket clashed with those of Sairaj Bahutule,Mumbais first-choice leg-break bowler for a decade.
It was after Vikramjeet Malik (2/26 in 3 overs) struck early blows with some disciplined bowling.
Earlier,T20 freelancer Hodge showed why he is a much soughtafter player in the format as he blasted a 23-ball-46. He got 20 out off the 21 runs that came off the final over of the innings bowled by Pakistani left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir.
All-rounder Stuart Binny too played a nice cameo (38 off only 20 balls) while Shane Watson (33,24 balls,4×4,2×6) and skipper Rahul Dravid (31,30 balls,5×4) also made useful contributions.
Rajasthan were off to a poor start. Put in to bat,they lose Ajinkya Rahane (5) early,caught trying to hit Tanvir out of the park. In fact,the Royals managed only 69 in the first 10 overs. However,the last 10 proved to be far more profitable with a whopping 114 runs coming in this stretch.
Brief Scores: RR 183/5 in 20 overs (S Binny 38,B Hodge 46,Tsotsobe 2/26,Pretorius 2/27) beat Highveld Lions 153/9 in 20 overs (A Petersen 40,G Viljoen 24,Malik 2/26,Faulkner 2/22,Tambe 4/15)