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Thursday, 28 March 2024 21:54

Rajasthan beats Delhi by 12 runs for back-to-back home wins.

By Patrick Compton.

Rajasthan Royals held their nerve to squeeze out a tight 12-run victory over the Delhi Capitals in their Tata IPL match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday night.

It was the Royals' second consecutive win and Delhi's second loss.

In a dramatic match that swung one way then the other, it was Rajasthan’s ability to stop the Delhi run flow in the final overs that determined the result.

Chasing the Royals' total of 185 for five – thanks to a superb unbeaten 84 in 45 balls from Riyan Parag – the visitors were well in the hunt for almost all their innings.

Indeed, South Africa's Tristan Stubbs looked as though he might win it for Delhi in the 17th over when Trent Boult dropped him in the deep.

Stubbs then belted the bowler, Ravi Ashwin, for consecutive sixes to take 19 off the over and set up a good victory opportunity for his team with 41 needed off the last three overs.

But pacemen Avesh Khan and Sandeep Sharma combined brilliantly to restrict Stubbs and Axar Patel to scoring just 29 in those 18 balls with Khan going for just five in the final over when Delhi needed 17 to win.

Stubbs hit two fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 44 in 23 balls, but it wasn't enough.

Hostile Burger

Earlier, Delhi were well up on the run-rate mainly thanks to opener David Warner (49 off 34 balls) and Mitchell Marsh (23 off 12 balls).

Skipper Rishabh Pant, playing in his 100th IPL match, struck 28 off 26 balls, but has yet to hit his form of yore after his long absence through injury.

Warner's dismissal was key, as he slashed at a wide delivery from Khan, edging the ball fast and to the right of Sharma who grabbed a spectacular diving catch at short third man.

South Africa's Nandre Burger made a hostile impression up front for the Royals, reaching 150kph at one point and bowling Marsh and then having Ricky Bhui caught off his glove two balls later trying to avoid a sharp lifter.

Delhi won the toss and inserted the Royals, and for the first half of the home team's innings, it looked as if they’d made the right decision.

But they had reckoned without Parag who transformed the innings. It was Parag’s highest score in the IPL and the young right-hander struck seven fours and six sixes as he forged a remarkable recovery for his team after they had sunk into the doldrums approaching the halfway mark.

Rajasthan Recover

Rajasthan were strangled by some superb bowling in the power play which they completed for the meagre total of 31 for two.

Delhi began well, claiming the cheap wickets of opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, bowled off his pads in the second over by Mukesh Kumar, and then the scalp of skipper Sanju Samson in the sixth over, caught behind attempting a cut to a delivery from Khaleel Ahmed that cramped the stroke.

Meanwhile Jos Buttler, who had struggled to time the ball, was unable to play himself into form and was trapped leg before, on review, after attempting to reverse-sweep off wrist-spinner Yuldeep Yadav in his opening over.

The feared England opener was dismissed for a pedestrian 11 in 16 balls.

It was Ashwin who began the recovery, cracking the first six of the innings off Yadav in the 10th over and then flaying Anrich Nortje for consecutive sixes in the South African paceman's second over.

Left-arm spinner Patel, who bowled with his usual economy, claimed Ashwin’s wicket, caught in the deep, after the pair had put on 54 in 37 balls for the fourth wicket.

But the real momentum came when Parag was joined by Dhruv Jurel (20 off 12 balls) and finally Shimron Hetmyer (14 off seven balls) as 92 runs came off the last six overs.

Nortje, who had begun well with only three runs taken off his first over, was plundered for 25 off his last as he went for 48 off his full quota and the wicket of Jurel.

If Patel was the most successful spinner for Delhi, left-arm paceman Khaleel Ahmed convinced for the fast men, claiming 1-24 in his four overs despite going for 15 in his last.

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Riyan Parag, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Dhruv Jurel, 7 Ravi Ashwin, 8 Trent Boult, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Delhi Capitals: 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Ricky Bhui, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 5 Tristan Stubbs, 6 Axar Patel, 7 Sumit Kumar, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Anrich Nortje, 10 Khaleel Ahmed, 11 Mukesh Kumar.