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Royals Face Tough Opener

By on April 18, 2009

Rajasthan Royals

In the second match of the day, defending champions Rajasthan Royals will clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Cape Town.

Led by the Australian spin legend Shane Warne, the Royals astonished everyone by winning the inaugural edition of the tournament with minimum experience in the squad.

As far as Dr. Vijay Mallya’s high-profile team Royal Challengers was concerned, the tournament was not the one they would want to remember. The then Rahul Dravid led side finished seventh in the eight-team tournament.

But this year, Royal Challengers appear improved and prepared to take on the opposition. Having signed former England skipper Kevin Pieterson, the side is expected to have all the fire power it missed last year.
In-form South African players like Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis are too expected to bolster the team line-up by using home conditions to the fullest.

Rajasthan Royals got an early hand at the Newlands pitch in the warm-up match last weekend against Cape Cobras. Warne’s team might face few rough patches without Shane Watson on his side, but with Swapnil Asnodkar, Munaf Patel, Morne Morkel, the team will try to notch up the encore of the 2008 season.

Approaching milestones

-Shane Watson (472) needs just 28 runs to become the fourth batsman to aggregate 500 runs in the IPL. The top three batsmen before the commencement of the second edition of the IPL are: Shaun Marsh (616), Gautam Gambhir (534) and Sanath Jayasuriya (514).

– Shane Warne (19) needs just four wickets to become the leading wicket-taker in the IPL. At present, Sohail Tanvir, with 22 wickets at 12.09 runs apiece is the leading wicket-taker.

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