Rajasthan Royals won the first IPL. (Source: Twitter)

Rajasthan Royals stunned the World by beating Chennai Super Kings in the finals of the inaugural edition played at DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai on 1st June 2008.

Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne won the toss and decided to field first. CSK openers Parthiv Patel and Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan got off to a steady start putting on 39 runs. Yusuf Pathan was bought into the attack in the 6th over and struck immediately by dismissing Vidyut. At the end of six overs, CSK were 42 for 1.

Suresh Raina and Parthiv Patel put on 25 runs for the 2nd wicket before Yusuf Pathan got his 2nd wicket to get rid off Patel for 38. Everybody got starts but were not able to convert those into big scores. MS Dhoni showed his class in the death overs as he remained not out on 29 off 17 balls to help CSK post 163 for 5 in 20 overs. Yusuf Pathan was the pick of the bowlers for Rajasthan Royals with 3 for 22 in 4 overs, Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir took 1 wicket each.

Chasing 164 runs to win, Swapnil Asnodkar played with positive intent while Niraj Patil struggled to score runs and was eventually dismissed for 2. The right-handed Swapnil took on CSK bowlers. At the end of six overs, Rajasthan Royals were 41 for 1.

Royals lost the wickets of Asknodkar and Kamran Akmal after the power play over to struggle at 42 for 3. Yusuf Pathan came to the crease taking on the CSK bowlers along with Watson. Both rescued RR innings as they added 65 runs for the 4th wicket. Muttiah Muralitharan got the breakthrough dismissing Watson for 28 off 19 balls. Yusuf Pathan kept on going and reached his fifty off 36 balls.

Mohammad Kaif, Ravindra Jadeja and the well-set Yusuf Pathan were dismissed to leave Rajasthan Royals needing 18 runs off 12 balls. The match went right down to the wire as Sohail Tanvir and Shane Warne kept his nerves to help Rajasthan Royals register a thrilling 3 wicket win off the last ball.

Both Warne and Tanvir scored 9 runs each. For CSK, Albie Morkel and Muralitharan took 2 wickets each while Manpreet Gony took 1 wicket while Kamran Akmal and Yusuf Pathan were run outs.

The Journey of Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2008 Under the captaincy of Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals stunned the World by becoming the Champions of the inaugural edition in 2008 which nobody expected.

Rajasthan Royals had a brilliant league stage as they finished top of the points table with 11 wins and only 3 losses. Royals won all their games at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, Jaipur defeating Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

They defeated Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore away from home. Royals three losses came against Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, and Delhi Daredevils.

They had some outstanding performances in the season. Shane Watson was the leading run scorer for RR with 472 runs from 15 matches (15 innings) with 4 half-centuries. His best score in the tournament was 76*. Graeme Smith made 441 runs from 11 matches (11 innings) with 3 half-centuries and best score of 91. Watson and Graeme Smith finished as 4th and 5th leading run scorer in the tournament.

Out of the 5 bowlers, three were from Rajasthan Royals. Sohail Tanvir from Pakistan was the Purple Cap Holder with 22 wickets from 11 matches (11 innings) at an economy of 6.46 runs per over. He registered the figures of 6/14 which was broken by Alazzari Joseph in 2019.

Royals captain Shane Warner led from the front with 18 wickets from 15 matches (15 innings) with an economy of 8.63 runs per over. After contributing with the bat, Watson did the job with the ball picking 17 wickets from 15 matches with an economy of 7.07 runs per over. His best figures were 3/10.

Warne and Watson were 3rd and 4th in terms of leading wicket takers. Yusuf Pathan and Shane Watson were awarded man of the match awards 4 times each. Apart from this, Yusuf had the 2nd best strike rate of 179.01 in IPL 2008.

Pre-Auction

In the first ever auction, Rajasthan Royals bought Shane Warne for a base price of 3.21 Crore. Graeme Smith, Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, and Mohammad Kaif were other top buys by RR along with Shane
Warne.

Taruwar Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja were the picks from the Under 19. They picked Kamran Akmal, Swapnil Asknodkar, Younis Khan, Kamran Khan, Dimtri Mascarenhas, Munaf Patel, Niraj Patel, Mahesh Rawat, Dinesh Salunkhe, Pankaj Singh, Graeme Smith, Sohail Tanvir, Siddarth Trivedi.

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