Hyderabad, Apr 24 (UNI)Shane Warne bludgeoned a four and two sixes in a row to snatch the game from the Deccan Chargers with a three-wicket win with a ball to spare in their third league outing of the DLF Indian premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here tonight.
Aussie compatriot Andrew Symonds who scored the fastest century, virtually conceded the match which was in the grip of Deccan Chargers in the last over of the match.
When Deccan Chargers ended the day at 214 for five within the stipulated 20 overs, the match appeared to be in their favour. South African Captain GC Smith who flew in to play his first match for Rajasthan Royals, hammered 71 and with a 98-run second wicket partnership with Man of the Match Yusuf Pathan put the vistors on course. Md Kaif in his 34 from 16 balls with three sixes almost took the game away till Shahid Afridi struck first Kaif and GC Smith the next ball to put the vistors back to the wall.
Shane Warne then played the Skipper's knock to claim the match by a canter in the last over with one ball to spare.
Earlier, Symonds, who had failed in the two earlier league matches, showed his class, hammering an unbeaten 117 off 53 balls, the fastest century in the tourney. Though dropped at 76, Symonds was in a punishing mood, belting eleven boundaries and seven sixes in his 77 minute unconquered stay at the wicket.
Pairing with Rohit Sharma, Symonds added 111 runs for the fourth wicket to boost the chances of Deccan Chargers.
Chargers captain V V S Laxman conceded that Rajasthan Royals had good hitters and the total of 214 was getable on a flat wicket, which they did. Shane Warne attributed the victory to experience and teamwork and put modestly the limelight on the youngster Yusuf Pathan who picked two vital wickets and clobbered six sixes and four boundaries from 28 balls that he faced.
''We do not have great expectation. We decide each match on merits'' Warne quipped in a post-match interaction with the media.
EDs: here pick up suitably from earlier series UNI DB/SM NC RAI0107