CLT20: Rajasthan Royals win table topping clash but Otago Volts can still join them in semis

Brad Hodge hit an unbeaten 52 from 23 balls as his fifth four raced through extra cover to seal victory over Otago Volts by 4 wickets and spark scenes of Rajasthan Royals celebrations in fortress Jaipur.

Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Otago Volts had lost their first t20 match in 16 outings, yet recovered valiantly from 21 for four midway through the fifth over. In doing so they salvaged their net runrate after Rahul Shukla (3 for 23) had put the skids under them early on.

Man of the match Shukla claimed three scalps in the fourth over of the innings as the Royals ended top of Group A to guarantee a Jaipur semi-final.

Jimmy Neesham, now known as #UnleashTheNeesh on twitter scored 32 from 25 balls and shared a fifth wicket stand of 53 with Ryan ten Doeschate (26 from 27). Nathan McCullum hit an unbeaten 28 from 20 and Ian Butler waded in with 25 from 18 as the Volts gave themselves hope with a 139 for seven total.

When Ajinkya Rahane (52 from 48) scored his first 20 runs in fours and Rajasthan ended their six overs of powerplay at 43 for no loss in comparison to Otago’s 29 for four at the same stage it seemed all over.

Otago have proved before they can never be dismissed. They fielded like demons, Neesham added 3-22 to his runs and wickets fell at enough intervals to keep the Kiwis interested.

But then came Hodge. The 38-year-old Aussie continued his impressive competition by knocking off the runs required with 5 balls to spare.

Rahul Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals captain, said “It got pretty nerve-wracking in those last five overs and it was an incredible innings from Hodgy to get us over the line.

“When he bats like that, why should Hodge bat up the order? There are not many people who can do what he does, and I haven’t seen many people who can bat at the end of the innings under pressure like he does.

“The unbeaten record is not that important. I just hope we can keep it for one more game,” he added.

“In the end we want to keep the momentum going and we knew in the back of our mind that even if we did qualify for the semi finals, then we would get an extra day off before the final.

“So its nice to get the home game (semi-final), and then have a day off before the final. It’s nice to get over the line,” he concluded.

Otago must now wait until tomorrow to see if Mumbai Indians can beat Perth Scorchers heavily enough to overtake their net run-rate and send them home. Otagos runrate ends on +0.869 whereas Mumbai’s is 0.090. It’s going to take an emphatic victory to see Mumbai through.

Regardless of their future in this competition, the Volts will be met with a heroes welcome by a Kiwi public that has warmed to their never-say-die approach.

Deafeated skipper Brendom McCullum, was not too downcast. “We will be looking at the Mumbai-Perth game (closely),” he said. “We didn’t grab it (the opportunity) so whatever happens tomorrow will happen.

“But if we do find ourselves out, we will be grateful for what we have done in this tournament,” he added proudly.

Group A

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR
Royals 4 4 0 0 0 16 +0.960
Otago 4 2 1 0 1 10 +0.869
Mum Indians 3 1 1 0 1 6 +0.090
Lions 4 0 3 0 1 2 -0.726
Scorchers 3 0 2 0 1 2 -2.445

James Buttler

James Buttler

James has been working as a cricket journalist and broadcaster since 2006.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!
James Buttler

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