Royals thus kept their unbeaten record at home intact with 10th straight win (eight wins in IPL).
While Hodge’s 23-ball-46 helped Royals reach a comfortable 183 for five in 20 overs, leg-spinner Tambe had his moment under the sun with dream figures of 3-0-15-4 to restrict Lions to 153 for nine in 20 overs.
Tambe, who was just another club cricketer plying his trade in Mumbai Maidans before last edition of IPL, ran through the Lions’ middle-order with his fast leg-breaks.
Tambe cleaned up Hardus Viljoen (24) and rival captain Alviro Peterson (40) with fastish deliveries, he mixed it up cleverly getting Jean Symes with one flighted outside off-stump and Sohail Tanvir with a fullish deivery that found plumb in-front.
For someone, who just had one wicket from three T20 matches (all played during last IPL), Tambe was on spot from the word go. Not a big turner, the gritty Mumbaikar did find his spot and kept hitting it with a slight hint of leg-break.
By the end of his spell, the shouts of “Pravin Pravin” by the Royals supporters was a fitting tribute to the man whose best days in Mumbai club cricket clashed with that of Sairaj Bahutule, who was Mumbai’s first-choice leg-break bowler for a decade.
Just like first match, unheralded Himachal Pradesh seamer Vikramjeet Malik (2/26 in 3 overs) struck early blows with some disciplined bowling as Rajasthan now are on top of Group A with a very bright chance of making it to the semi-finals.