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    CLT20: Hodge, Tambe impressive in Rajasthan's win over Lions

    Jaipur: First Brad Hodge smashed an unbeaten 46 off just 23 balls and then 41-year-old legspinner Pravin Tambe took 4 for 15 as Rajasthan Royals continued their winning momentum, beating the South African side Higheveld Lions by 30 runs on Wednesday.

    Hodge's was one of the cameos played by the Rajasthan batsmen as, except Ajinkya Rahane (6) and Sanju Samson (12), the other top order batsmen also made useful contributions. Rahul Dravid made 31 off 30, Shane Watson scored 33 off 24 and stuart Binny once again showed his attacking stint, making 38 off just 20.

    Defending a massive score of 183, Rajasthan never let Lions take charge, picking up wickets at the regular intervals. While Vikramkjeet Malik once again provided early breakthroughs, Tambe ran through the Lions' middle-order with his fast leg-breaks.

    Rajasthan thus kept their unbeaten record at home intact with 10th straight win, including eight wins in the IPL.

    Tambe, who was just another club cricketer plying his trade in Mumbai Maidans before last edition of the IPL, cleaned up Hardus Viljoen (24) and rival captain Alviro Peterson (40) with quicker deliveries. He mixed it up cleverly getting Jean Symes with one flighted outside off-stump and Sohail Tanvir with a fullish deivery that trapped him leg before right in front.

    Earlier, T20 freelancer Hodge showed why he is sought after in the shortest format as he blasted his way to 23-ball-46 which included six fours and two sixes. He got 20 out off the 21 runs that came off the final over of the innings bowled by Pakistani left-arm seamer Tanvir.

    While Royals managed only 69 in the front 10, the back-10 proved to be far more profitable with a whopping 114 runs coming off it.

    The 13th over of the Royals innings proved to be 'lucky' for the home team as Watson and Binny slammed left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso to all corners scoring 22 runs from that over which included two huge sixes hit over long-on and long-off by the Aussie allrounder. That was when the Royals finally managed to break the shackles as an even 100 was scored off the last eight overs.

    The duo added 43 runs in only four overs after which Watson mistimed a straight hit which was taken at long-on off Tsotsobe's bowling. After Watson's departure Binny continued to find the gaps adding another 35 runs in 3.2 overs before he was castled Pretorious. The Karnataka allrounder hit five fours and a six during his innings.

    (With inputs from PTI)