Unheralded off-spinner Ajit Chandila recorded the first hat-trick of the Indian Premier League season as the Rajasthan Royals defeated the Pune Warriors by 45 runs, while Australian David Hussey guided Kings XI Punjab to a four-wicket win over the Deccan Chargers in a high-scoring match on Sunday.
Half-centuries by Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Shane Watson (58) propelled the Royals to 170-4, before Chandila’s hat-trick polished off the Warriors’ top order in the space of his first seven deliveries, limiting the opposition to 125-9.
Bowling with the new ball, Chandila took the wickets of Jesse Ryder (1), captain Sourav Ganguly (1) and Robin Uthappa (0) to finish with figures of 4-13.
“I was waiting for a chance for a long time,” Chandila said. “The pressure was on me ... this is just the start, there is still a way to go to complete my dream.”
Chandila, playing in only his second game, took the pace off the ball from the outset to frustrate the Warriors batsmen.
Ryder tried to hammer the off-spinner, only to see Watson taking a skier at mid-on, and Ganguly was smartly stumped by Shreevats Goswami off the next delivery. Uthappa was beaten in the flight and was also stumped to give Chandila the hat-trick.
The off-spinner then knocked the Warriors further off track when he accounted for Anustup Majumdar to reduce Ganguly’s men to 26-4.
Earlier, Watson smashed six fours and four towering sixes before he was bowled by Ashish Nehra in the 15th over. Rahane anchored the innings well with seven crisp boundaries and ensured the Royals had a healthy total to defend.
The victory kept the Royals in the hunt for a playoff place with 14 points from seven victories and as many losses. It was the eighth straight loss for the Warriors, who are second from the bottom on eight points with just four wins from 15 games.
In Mohali, Hussey struck an unbeaten 65 off 34 balls, hitting four boundaries and five sixes, while Gurkeerat Singh smashed a vital 29 as Kings XI romped to 194-6 after the Deccan Chargers had made 190-4.
Singh hit a six and two fours off seamer Manpreet Gony’s final over in an electrifying 45-run seventh-wicket stand with Hussey off only 20 balls.
Shikhar Dhawan (71) and Cameroon White (67 not out) put on 96 runs in 10 overs for a third-wicket stand that gave the Chargers a decent total to defend, but it proved not enough in the end.
The win brought Kings XI back in contention for a place among the top four with 14 points from seven wins and six losses. The Chargers, with a poor 2-11 record, are lying at the bottom of the table with five points.
The Delhi Daredevils lead the table with 18 points, followed by the Kolkata Knight Riders (17) and the Mumbai Indians (16).