The Rajasthan spinner took 4 for 13 to rip apart Pune\'s top order and help his side win by 45 runs.
PUNE WARRIORS INDIA INNINGS
20th over: Pune 121 for 9. Rajasthan win by 45 runs. A boundary for Nehra off the last ball but nevertheless a big victory for Rajasthan, which should beef up their net run rate. They now go up to 14 points.
19th over: Pune 116 for 9. Tait trying hard to finish it in this over but somehow Nehra and Kartik keep him out.
18th over: Pune 112 for 9. Two wickets in the over but the second one deserves special mention. Some superlative fielding by Both to bring down Rohit Sharma. Rohit hits it hard towards Botha at long-off where the South African catches it running towards the ropes. But just as Botha felt he is going to touch the rope, he throws the ball towards Rahane running in from long-on and the Orange-capper accepts it gleefully.
Rohit Sharma c Rahane b Watson 0 (3)
Angelo Mathews c Rahane b Watson 23 (19)
17th over: Pune 109 for 7. The last rites are being performed here and who better than pace machine Shaun Tait to do it as the Aussie uproots Kumar's off-stump with a peach.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar b Tait 3 (5)
16th over: Pune 105 for 6. Dravid has thrown the ball to Stuart Binny. That's a strange move when you have two overs each left from Tait and Watson and one from Trivedi. A few more runs conceded here could make a big difference in the net run rate.
15th over: Pune 97 for 6. Smith takes the long walk back. Botha buying some cheap wickets here. The pressure to score quick induces an error from Smith, who could hit it only as far as Hodge running in from long-on and diving in front to complete a superb catch.
Steve Smith c Hodge b Botha 37 (31)
14th over: Pune 89 for 5. Finally, Smith breaks the stranglehold with a lucky boundary off Trivedi, as the ball takes an inside edge and runs down to the fine-leg boundary.
13th over: Pune 81 for 5. The boundaries have dried up big time for Pune. As a result, the asking rate is climbing steeply. It's almost 13 runs per over now for the last seven.
12th over: Pune 76 for 5. Mathews has joined Smith in the middle, but both the Pune batsmen are finding it hard to hit Botha for runs. 95 required now off 48 balls. Tall ask.
11th over: Pune 68 for 5. Ferguson bites the dust in quest of quick runs. The Aussie shuffles a bit too much to hit it through the leg side but misses the line of the delivery that strikes him right in front.
Callum Ferguson lbw b Botha 23 (26)
10th over: Pune 60 for 4. Trivedi is into the attack and after conceding a four to Smith off the first ball, he limits it to eight runs in the over. At halfway mark, and Pune need 111 runs in the next 60 balls with six wickets in hand.
9th over: Pune 52 for 4. Seasoned South African pro Johan Botha is now bowling to compound Pune's woes. And he starts off well with just five runs in his first over, no boundaries.
8th over: Pune 47 for 4. Tait is not among the wickets yet but damage at the top is allowing him to bowl aggressively.
7th over: Pune 38 for 4. Chandila is bowling out here, and rightly so seeing the kind of form he is in. And he signs off with figures of 4 for 14. Seems to be a clincher as things stand right now.
6th over: Pune 33 for 4. Shaun Tait has been brought into attack by Dravid, probably to kill Pune's chase completely. However, Smith and Ferguson are looking to dig in now to see off this wicket-losing spell.
5th over: Pune 26 for 4. Chandila is rocking the Pune ship big time here. Now dismisses Majumdar to take his fourth wicket.
A Majumdar c & b Chandila 9 (8)
4th over: Pune 25 for 3. Majumdar is doing the right thing here with an aggressive intent, as Pune can't afford to go into a shell while chasing 170. He hits two boundaries to get going, first a nice flick through mid-wicket and second a lucky edge to the third-man boundary.
3rd over: Pune 16 for 3. Hat-trick for Chandila! Uthappa is stumped. Two consecutive wickets to finish his last over and this one to begin his second. Like Ganguly, Uthappa too has been stumped.
Robin Uthappa st Goswami b Chandila 6 (6)
2nd over: Pune 11 for 2 Watson has been given the new ball from the other end as Uthappa and Majumdar join each other at the crease. And a good counter-blow by Uthappa who hits it straight over the bowler's head for Pune's first boundary.
1st over: Pune 3 for 2. Ryder, Ganguly fall early! It's a dream start for Ajit Chandila and Rajasthan. First Ryder gets too much under one from the spinner and gets height more than distance. The very next ball Ganguly looks to nudge it off his legs, the ball hits his pads and an overbalanced Ganguly's back leg comes out of the crease. Goswami does the rest by removing the bails in a flash.
Sourav Ganguly st Goswami b Chandila 2 (4)
Jesse Ryder c Watson b Chandila 1 (2)
RAJASTHAN ROYALS INNINGS
20th over: Rajasthan 170 for 4. Good last over by Angelo Mathews who dismisses top-scorer Rahane, and despite conceding a four, the Sri Lankan keeps it to nine runs in the over.
So Pune have pulled it back a little bit when Rajasthan looked good to reach 185 or so.
Ajinkya Rahane b Mathews 61 (47)
19th over: Rajasthan 161 for 3. This could turn out to be a critical over in the context of the match. Not just Nehra takes out Hodge in his last six balls but also keeps it down to just five runs in the over. Top spell from Nehra, who finishes with 3 for 23 in his four overs.
Brad Hodge c Ganguly b Nehra 14 (14)
18th over: Rajasthan 156 for 2. Kumar is suffering at the hands of Rahane now. He bowls it short outside off and Rahane lifts him over extra cover. The next ball Kumar strays down the leg side and Rahane pierces the gap between short fine and square leg to find another boundary.
17th over: Rajasthan 145 for 2. The Orange Cap is back on Rahane's head as he surpasses Gayle's 572 runs in the tournament with that half-century.
16th over: Rajasthan 136 for 2. Rahane is clearly the senior partner here as Hodge joins him in the middle. And even without any boundary, the duo have collected 10 runs in that over. Kartik meanwhile has bowled out. Not a happy day for him with figures of 4-0-39-0.
15th over: Rajasthan 126 for 2. Nehra cleans up Watson. The batsman tries to squeeze out that yorker but it slips under the bottom of the bat to rattle the stumps. Much needed wicket for Pune.
Shane Watson b Nehra 58 (31)
14th over: Rajasthan 118 for 1. It's all Watson show as Rahane has been left to be a spectator at the non-striker's end. And Watson is in mood today, as he showed once again with that powerful straight hit for a boundary. No chance whatsoever for the long-off fielder.
13th over: Rajasthan 109 for 1. Pune are wilting under Watson's power-hitting. Ganguly brings Jesse Ryder to bowl but the Kiwi has been taken for 15 runs by the Aussie. Three consecutive big shots to end the over - 4, 6, 4 - with the last one off a misfield by Kartik at long-off. And a 26-ball half-century for Watson! Happy Hours have begun!
12th over: Rajasthan 94 for 1. Kumar has steadied his figures with a decent third over, in which he gives away just five runs. But Watson is looking to wind it up big time now.
11th over: Rajasthan 89 for 1. Watson is toying with Rajasthan spinners now. This time it's Sharma's turn. The first four is a gift, though, as Smith of all men lets one through his legs. But the next one is pierced between point and short third-man with perfection by the Aussie.
10th over: Rajasthan 77 for 1. Watson has seen enough of Kartik's slow left-armers as he tears into the former Indian bowler. Back-to-back sixes! First a flat-batted slap over Steve Smith at long-on and then a humongous hit over mid-wicket.
9th over: Rajasthan 61 for 1. Sourav is being teased by Rahane in the field. The RR opener plays it gently towards the deep mid-wicket, twice, and both teams beats Ganguly to scamper through for a couple. No points in guessing that Dada isn't happy.
8th over: Rajasthan 56 for 1. Kartik comes back to bowl his second over and does well to keep Watson and Rahane to just five runs in the over.
7th over: Rajasthan 51 for 1. Brute power by Watson. Angelo Mathews had bowled decent five deliveries until that last ball that he pitched a bit short, giving Watson enough time to rock back and send the ball crashing to the mid-wicket fence.
6th over: Rajasthan 45 for 1. Watson is off with a boom, hitting Kumar for a spanking six over mid-wicket. Rahane's four off the penultimate ball turns it into an 11-run over for the hosts. Both teams should be happy with the Powerplay, though Pune would have liked a wicket more.
5th over: Rajasthan 34 for 1. Nehra sends Dravid back. The Rajasthan skipper reaches for a ball that is pitched up and wide of the off-stump and manages to nick it to Uthappa who dives to his right for a smart catch. Rahane, though, ends the over on a happy note by lifting Nehra for a four over the covers region.
Rahul Dravid c Uthappa b Nehra 21 (20)
4th over: Rajasthan 29 for no loss. Four different bowlers in first four overs as leggie Rahul Sharma comes to the bowling crease. He is welcomed both by Dravid and Rahane who hit him through backward point and over the extra cover, respectively, for two more boundaries.
3rd over: Rajasthan 19 for no loss. Buhvneshwar Kumar has bowled the third over. He keeps it nice and straight but is unlucky to not have Rajasthan skipper out, who escapes with an inside edge that races to the fine-leg boundary.
2nd over: Rajasthan 13 for no loss. Nehra has taken the new ball from the other end, and Dravid has seen enough of his former India team-mate as he shows in that clip off his legs for another boundary.
1st over: Rajasthan 8 for no loss. Ganguly has opted to open with Murali Kartik, and Dravid's cut through the point region ensures that the over is not without the hosts' first boundary. The four also brings up Dravid's 400 runs in the tournament.
3:40 p.m. Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid wins the toss and decides to bat first against Pune Warriors India.
The hosts Rajasthan have made two changes to their team. Injured wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik makes way for Sreevats Goswami, while Pankaj Singh is out for offspinner Ajit Chandila.
As expected, Sourav Ganguly returns to lead Pune. Jesse Ryder and Callum Ferguson too have been included.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Ashok Menaria, Stuart Binny, Johan Botha, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Ajit Chandila, Siddharth Trivedi, Shaun Tait
Pune Warriors: Jesse Ryder, Robin Uthappa (wk), Sourav Ganguly (capt), Callum Ferguson, Anustup Majumdar, Angelo Mathews, Steven Smith, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Murali Kartik, Rahul Sharma, Ashish Nehra
3.20 p.m. Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the IPL 5 match between Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors India. The contest carries extreme importance from the point of view of Rajasthan who need a win desperately to keep their playoff hopes alive.