Royals top Group A after win over Lions

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Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe's four-wicket haul stood at the fore of the Rajasthan Royals' 30-run triumph over the Lions – in Wednesday's Champions League Twenty20 fixture at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe's four-wicket haul stood at the fore of the Rajasthan Royals' 30-run triumph over the Lions – in Wednesday's Champions League Twenty20 fixture at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

The result continued the Royals' unbeaten stretch at home this season and saw them surpass the Otago Volts, who outgunned the Perth Scorchers on the back of batsman Neil Broom's record-breaking century earlier in the day, at the helm of Group A.

Tambe, picked ahead of seamer Rahul Shukla and duly named Man of the Match, was outstanding during the Royals' defence of a competitive 183 for five – built on the back of quickfire cameos from captain Rahul Dravid, middle-order batsman Brad Hodge and all-rounders Shane Watson and Stuart Binny.

The 41-year-old slow bowler, making only his fourth Twenty20 appearance, completed career-best figures of four for 15 in three overs. Seamers Vikramjeet Malik and James Faulkner, meanwhile, each secured a complementary brace.

The Lions, who arguably should have batted first after skipper Alviro Petersen triumphed at the toss, ultimately fell to an insufficient 153 for nine. The tally would have read considerably poorer, had Petersen's standalone 40 not bolstered the middle order. Two dozen from the pinch-hitting Hardus Viljoen was the next largest score.

"To be honest we are normally good at the death, but the Rajasthan Royals played brilliantly at the death. Looking back we wonder where we could have got the extra runs," Petersen said after the match.

"I was fancying chasing around 160 and, to a degree, we were close but never got hold of the chase. We need to bounce back, two games to win from now. We have to move forward as a team and want to be the best franchise in South Africa."

The Lions' next game is against the Mumbai Indians on Friday, while Rajasthan will meet Perth on Sunday. Both matches will be played in Jaipur.

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