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IPL 2018 | Rajasthan Royals make sweet home coming with 10-run win in rain curtailed match

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SportsCafe Desk

04/12/2018

Rajasthan Royals’ home comeback couldn’t have been scripted in a better way as the team got off to a 10-run win over Delhi Daredevils in a run-curtailed encounter. Earlier, after being asked to bat first, the Royals could manage to score 153/5 in 17.5 overs when rain decided to announce its arrival.

Gautam Gambhir, after winning the toss, chose to bowl first. He also brought in Australia allrounder Glenn Maxwell at the expense of his fellow country man and allrounder Dan Christian, and also left out Amit Mishra for left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals did not make any changes after their loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday continuing their strategy of playing three pacers.

The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur has always been a fortress for the hosts, but if you are looking at the way they began today, you would be hard-pressed to believe that. D'Arcy Short, BBL’s highest run-getter, was run out for the second consecutive time, this time by Vijay Shankar, in the second over and their worries further increased when Ben Stokes edged to Rishabh Pant on a brilliant Trent Boult delivery, which reduced the team to 28/1 in 4.1 overs.

After the talisman’s dismissal, the Royals’, two old dogs - Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson - joined hands to steered the team, taking RR to 90/3 in 11 overs. The stage was set for the lower-middle order to fire, and Jos Buttler stood up to the task scoring a handsome 29 runs off 18 balls before perishing to Mohammed Shami. Although Rajasthan had two batsman in Rahul Tripathi and Krishnappa Gowtham to take them to the end, the untimely rain arrived in Jaipur and it put an end to the first innings and made Delhi's innings a six-over affair, with the target being 71.

The short target gave Delhi the licence to go berserk from the word go, but their beginning was anything but that. On the first ball of the innings, Gowtham and Butler joined hands to run Coin Munro out for a duck. The onus was on Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell to guide the team, but the duo struggled to find timing in the first two overs and although Maxwell could manage to open his arms, that was too little as per the context of the game. A good over by Ben Laughlin destroyed Delhi’s aspirations after that and the team needed 25 runs to win in the last over. However, there was no fairytale ending for this match as Laughlin kept on bowling at a nagging line which and guided the team home, upon the team’s return to the venue after a gap of five years.

Now, while the Royals will travel to Bengaluru to play their next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Gambhir-led team will be hosted by defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

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