Jaipur, Apr 25 : Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne, who with his superb bowling guided his team to a comfortable eight-wicket victory against Kerala Kochi Tuskers, has applauded his players for giving a gutsy performance.
The Kochi Tuskers, led by Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene, failed to read 41 year old Warne''s flight and spin and, with seamer Siddharth Trivedi also chipping in with three for 19, they were bundled out for a paltry 109.
Rahul Dravid (44) put on 71 runs for the opening wicket with Australian Shane Watson (49) before getting run out as Rajasthan leap-frogged from sixth to second spot with their third victory.
Warne took crucial wickets of Parthiv Patel and Ravindra Jadeja.
“So, we just went back to sort of basics and the dreary board and write out what''s our strategy, what''s our plans, how do we play our best cricket and we sort of stuck that. But, I think over all of that there is a spirit in the side, which I said early, it''s just really good and you know we didn''t get too disheartened.
“But, the losses really hurt, it really hurt the group and I thought the way we responded here today was pretty emphatic and I think it showed a lot of character," said Warne.
The Rajasthan Royals on the other hand came out to bat with Dravid and Shane Watson making a partnership of 71 runs.
Brendon McCullum of Kochi Tuskers missed the game due to shoulder injury and his substitute V. V. S. Laxman got out cheaply.
"Initially we thought it was a 140 - 150 wicket but once we started playing on that, we realized it''s probably a 130 wicket and we assessed that situation in the dugout. I mean, the guys who went to bat knew what we were looking at. But, at the same time you know they went for their shots. I mean the, I am to admit we did not bat sensibly in that period. Not just the latter part, the whole group.
“So, I think you know we have to give some credit to the Rajasthan Royal bowlers. I think you know they bowled good areas on a wicket, which helped them and created pressure and you know we didn''t probably play to our potential today as simple as that," said Jayawardene.
The run rate for the Kochi Tuskers began to fall below six in the very fifth over.
The win was important for Rajasthan Royals who had lost last couple of games against Kolkata Knight Riders. (ANI)