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Warriors fight, only to lose again

Napster

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As he finished his quota of four overs with his umpteenth dot-ball on Sunday, Rahul Sharma pumped his fist excitedly before taking his cap and acknowledging the multitude of tributes coming his way courtesy the rest of the Pune Warriors. Tall and gangly with an ungainly bowling action, especially for a leg-spinner, the Punjab lad has been his team’s most consistent and impressive bowler during the tournament. And in his fourth over, the 15 th of the Rajasthan Royals’s innings, Sharma had not only dismissed the dangerous Ashok Menaria— he had also dramatically kept the ultra-destructive Ross Taylor in check-primarily by denying the Kiwi even a single opportunity to swing the bat towards his beloved mid-wicket region— and finished with spectacular figures of 3/13.

More importantly, his wicket-maiden had pushed the marauding Royals onto the back-foot, leaving them to score 52 off the final five overs with an edgy Taylor, batting on 14 off 17 balls, struggling to find his touch. As Sharma walked off into the outfield, an upbeat Yuvraj Singh, still left with plenty of bowling options, had a decision to make.