Pune Warriors suffered their sixth consecutive defeat of the IPL and became the second team to go out of reckoning for the semi-final spot. Firstly Shaun Tait, and then Shane Watson did the star turns for Rajasthan Royals as they beat the Ganguly led team with ease.
Pune chose to bat in a must win match and had Ganguly coming back at the top of the order. That however did not make any difference to their fortunes as he and Clarke departed early. Anustup Majumdar who was playing his first match in the IPL came in at two drop and set about reviving the innings. His innings of 30 off 20 deliveries was the lone bright spot as the rest of the more established batsmen struggled on a difficult wicket. Shaun Tait was the pick of the bowlers with his four overs of searing pace which got him three wickets for thirteen runs.
The Royals in their reply got off to a dodgy start with top run getter - Ajinkya Rahane getting dismissed for a duck in the second over itself. Shane Watson though started plundering the attack, as Dravid fed him the strike. Watson was the only batsmen who looked comfortable on the wicket, and he left an impression on all the bowlers. The partnerships with Dravid and Menaria meant that the target was easily surpassed with twenty balls to spare. The only piece of brilliance from Pune's side came from Steve Smith who nearly pulled off one of the smartest and best catches of all time. A Waston slog looked set to go over the long-on boundary, but Smith managed to catch it right on the ropes, but realised the momentum was taking him across. He lobbed the ball in the air as he was in the air but behind the boundary line. Then as the ball was coming down, he jumped and pushed the ball inside the field of play. And ran back in to complete the catch. Recent change of rule mean that the effort went in vain.
The win brings the Royals right in contention for the final four place and brings curtains on the Warriors' campaign.