(The Times Of India)
Scores are settled now. Rajasthan Royals had beaten Kochi Tuskers Kerala in Jaipur in the first leg, and the Tuskers avenged the defeat in style by mauling the Shane Warne side at ‘home’ on Sunday.
The huge eight-wicket victory by Tuskers in their penultimate match at the Holkar Stadium meant Royals have now lost all hopes of reaching the playoff stage. They have now joined the ‘losers’ list of Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Deccan Chargers and the Tuskers.
Tuskers produced a clinical performance but their outstanding show was too late to save them from staying in the hunt for playoffs. Brad Hodge, known more for his batting prowess, produced one of the most impressive bowling performances of this edition to bag four wickets as Rajasthan Royals were bundled out for mere 97.
Thanks to Hodge’s remarkable spell of 4-13, Kochi looked a completely different side compared to Friday when they lost a high-scoring encounter against Kings XI Punjab by a margin of six wickets at the same venue.
A couple of days back the same bowling attack, barring the exception of RP Singh, was thrashed mercilessly by the Dinesh Karthik and Company. But on Sunday, they were spot on from the word go.
Hodge made the day memorable for himself when he excelled with the willow too as Tuskers romped home in just 7.2 overs. He hammered an unbeaten 33 off just 17 balls and in the company of Parthiv Patel (21 not out) and knocked out the required runs with utmost ease.
Earlier, taking a cue from Adam Gilchrist, who had put the Tuskers in after winning the toss on Friday, Mahela Jayawardene decided to bowl first.