Rajasthan Royals probably had one of their better games of this season against Delhi at Jaipur, however, they still had no answers to Delhi’s top order, especially Rishabh Pant. Ajinkya Rahane played a vintage inning and showed intent against Delhi. Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Royals lost by 6 wickets after putting 191 on board batting first.
Losing the toss batting first, the track at Jaipur seemed tricky, to begin with. The Royals lost Sanju Samson in the second over for naught to a horrible mix up. It was Rahane’s mistake and he had to make up for it. And he did. After Rahane was dropped by Ishant Sharma on 18, he switched gears to play some orthodox and unorthodox shots. He and Smith added 130 in 12 overs. Rahane got to his second IPL century in the 17th over. However, he got to face just 4 balls in the remaining overs. The rest of the RR batsmen could not provide the required boost at death. RR looked to be crossing 200 comfortably but they had to settle for 191 in the end.
Defending an almost par score at Jaipur, the Royals got their first wicket in the 8th over in the form of Shikhar Dhawan stumped off Gopal by Samson. Delhi by then had scored at a rate of 10 an over. RR had some hope when they removed captain Iyer cheaply in the very next over. But then they had no answers to Pant’s blitz. The Royals, in the end, lost comfortably by 6 wickets.
Ajinkya Rahane made his and Rajasthan Royal’s top score in IPL history, 105 in a comeback inning, off just 63 deliveries. Steven Smith scored yet another half-century at the strike rate of above 155. The lower order failed to get the score beyond 200. Shreyas Gopal was the peak of the bowlers picking 2 wickets in 4 overs for 47. Kulkarni, Gopal, and Unadkat went for more than 10 an over costing RR the match.
The Capitals are at the top now. What a season they are having. Their bowling looks settled and the batting has the firepower needed to overcome big totals. It was a team to watch out for this season and they are delivering on that promise as they overcame yet another chase against RR to get to 14 points.
Winning the toss, Delhi chose to bowl first on a tricky surface. Powerplay seemed to go their way as they did not allow the Royals to get off to a flier. However, Rahane and Smith then upped the scoring rate against Delhi bowlers and took the score beyond 130 in 13th over. When 220 looked certain, Delhi pulled the game back at the death to restrict the Royals to 191. It was still a par score in this ground.
The chase began nicely for Delhi as Dhawan and Shaw were ahead of the asking rate right from the beginning. Shaw was relatively slow, but Dhawan scored 54 of first 72 runs and was the first to go. Shreyas Iyer was next to in the very next over. Rishabh Pant then came to bat and scored freely to get Delhi comfortably over the line. Pant’s inning included 6 fours and 4 towering sixes.
Rabada once again picked up 2 wickets whereas Ishant, Axar, and Morris took one wicket each. Except for Ishant Sharma all other bowlers went for above 9 an over. Pant’s 78 not-out was the highest score for Delhi at the strike of 216. Dhawan’s 54 came at about 200 strike rate. Shaw provided steady support with 42 off 39 deliveries.
Rajasthan Royals have slim hopes of making it to the top four now but they would at least want to give themselves a chance by winning their remaining encounters. They play Sunrisers Hyderabad next on 27th April 2019 at home. The Royals made a big change of putting Rahane up the order and that paid off, well, almost. Royals would be hoping for their bowlers to come good against SRH.
Table toppers, Delhi, would play RCB who are at the bottom of the table. Delhi has managed to rectify their chasing woes by winning last matches while chasing. Delhi would be cautious against RCB though who have just beaten the then table-toppers Chennai Super Kings. Delhi is having a dream run this season and they would be keen to continue the winning streak and maintain the top spot.
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