Royals saunter into semi-finals

(Cricinfo) Rajasthan Royals breezed into the Champions League semi-final with a nine-wicket win over Perth Scorchers yesterday that rarely looked an even contest, and preserved their unbeaten streak in Jaipur this year. The result also knocks Scorchers out of contention for the semi-finals, meaning no Australian sides remain in the hunt.

Kevon Cooper was the primary architect of Scorchers’ collapse, settling into a fine rhythm early to deliver a number of humming yorkers, two of which yielded scalps. He took four wickets in total and conceded 18 from his four overs, while Pravin Tambe’s canny legspin removed batsmen at the other end. Both he and James Faulkner finished with two wickets apiece.

With only 121 to chase down, Sanju Samson andAjinkya Rahane stroked attractive half-centuries to remain unbeaten at the close.

Liam Davis hit 13 runs off the second over of the match, but that was as good as Scorchers’ evening got, as they embarked on a slide that began gradually at first, before reaching its hapless crescendo in the middle overs. Davis and opening partner Ashton Agar departed inside the Powerplay, and though Voges promised a bright innings with three early leg-side boundaries, the batsmen at the other end could not muster sustained competence.

Simon Katich was the recipient of Pravin Tambe’s largesse, when a return catch was dropped in the eighth over, but the batsman could make no use of his second life.

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