Brad Hodge’s Game Plan and the Fairy-tale Debut of Praveen Tambe
In our preview of the match we had envisioned an easy win for Rajasthan Royals and they made the vision a reality and they now remain unbeaten for 10 matches straight (including 8 matches of IPL) at home this year. Lions at no stage looked like they could beat a side that had lost a handful of their bowlers to spot Fixing.
The match was everything a Royals fan can ever ask. Dravid scored a valuable 31 at the top. Shane Watson proved his worth in the team as he scored 33, Stuart Binny smashed his way to a fast track 38 which he scored at a scorching strike rate and Brad Hodge’s mind blowing 46 which was scored at a strike rate of 200 proved to be the icing on the cake. Then the RR bowlers Vikramjeet Malik, the surprise package for the match against MI picked up early wickets and the Man of the Match award winner Praveen Tambe with his quick leg breaks cleaned up the middle order.
Brad Hodge played a brilliant innings at the death like he always does. He scored 20 runs from the last over (a total of 21 scored of that over). He walked in at a stage where RR were 110-4 he paired up with Stuart Binny and tried to take singles and twos and left the hitting to Binny. Later on when Binny was cleaned up by Dwaine Pretorius, he took charge of Big Hitting. In fact the innings played by Binny and Hodge was the main game changer for RR. Brad later told the reporters that he had a simple game plan to hit the ball when it’s there to be hit.
Later when the Lions came to bat, Vikramjeet picked the wickets of the opener Rassie Van Der Dussen and Watson picked the wicket of dangerous looking Quinton De Kock after a brief resistance. Vikramjeet picked the wicket of Temba Bavuma for a duck. Then Hardus Viljeon and skipper Alviro Peterson tried to build a partnership but any chances to improve on that were quashed by the 42 year old Praveen Tambe. Who picked both the wickets as well as the wickets of Jean Symes and Sohail Tanveer cheaply. Faulkner came to the party and picked Thami Tsolekile and Dwaine Pretorius who were trying to regain the lost ground. The lions never looked like they can win the game.
The Man of the match was awarded to Praveen Tambe the 42 year old who kept playing kanga league all these years to get a chance to play for a team with International standards. His 4 for 15 was the best figures on debut in the history of CLT20.