After being asked to bat first, Shikhar Dhawan’s opening wicket partnership with Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane ensured that the visitors got to 211 for the loss of four wickets. In the end, Rajasthan’s lacklustre performance with the bat helped the encounter tilt in Delhi’s favour.
If ice and fire were mixed and turned into one element - it would be Delhi’s batting early on in the innings. After being put to bat first in the fixture, the openers turned the party on with both Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan scoring carelessly. While the start was rather slow, scoring just 47 after the powerplay phase, Ajinkya Rahane joined hands with Dhawan at the middle as the veterans put on a blazing show. Despite the Delhi opener’s dismissal, after he had scored 72, the host of big names - Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis ensured that Delhi crossed the 200 run-barrier. The tourists ended the innings on 211 for the loss of four wickets, on the back of a late blitz from Pant, who scored a 7-ball 22.
While Delhi’s start to the innings was filled with ice and fire, the latter - Rajasthan’s innings just had smoke in it without any fire. In just the first over, they lost the experienced Robin Uthappa before Jos Buttler and Steve Smith decided to walk back in pair. When Sanju Samson was dismissed by the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the encounter was already done and just waiting to be dusted. Riyan Parag too was found out immediately the next over before Rahul Tewatia and Ben Stokes stitched a partnership but Delhi hammed them by 72 runs.
Rabada’s twin-wicket over arguably was the game-changer in the innings, with the South African pacer accounting for both Steve Smith and Jos Buttler, two of the focal points of this Rajasthan batting setup. While Buttler’s dismissal ensured that the home side’s scoring rate reduced drastically, the wicket of the Australian batsman all but sealed the fate for the RR on the day.
Highs and Lows
Shikhar Dhawan’s innings was a thing of beauty, with the experienced southpaw putting on a near-perfect show at the home of the opponents. The left-handed Delhi opener scored a 48-ball 72 runs, scoring nine boundaries and one six. However, more than the runs, he was right there almost throughout the course of the innings, which helped the likes of Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis to propel their run-scoring towards the end of the innings.
When you are talking about the lows of the game, there are three players who pop right up in this particular game - Robin Uthappa, Jos Buttler and Steve Smith. While Uthappa was dismissed early on in the innings, the low of the game has to be attributed to the loss of Buttler, purely because of his importance in this setup. The English keeper is the heart of Rajasthan’s batting unit in the past IPL editions and this time around, when he scored just two runs off six balls, the encounter looked certainly over.
Powerplay exploitation: DC 6/10 and RR 3/10
The start from Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan was nowhere close to T20 standards, putting up just six on board after the first over. However, what transpired after that was what set up things for a mouth-watering contest between the Royals and the Capitals. Slowly yet steadily, in the next four overs, the duo put on a show for the home fans, scoring nearly 8 runs per over, without losing any wicket. At the end of the showbiz phase, Delhi were off to a sturdy start, scoring 47 runs without any batsman walking back to the hut.
While Delhi’s start was slow, Rajasthan decided to turn the tables immediately, going all out from the very first over. But, as it happened, it backfired very early in the innings, with Robin Uthappa walking back to the dressing room. After the Indian batsman’s dismissal, the rest of the team had to really up the ante, if they stood a chance of scoring over 200 runs in the encounter. However, when KG Rabada walked in for to bowl, the game was done and dusted as RR lost two more wickets. All of it could only lead to one outcome - the Royals reducing themselves to 52/4, chasing 212 for a victory.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: DC 6/10 and RR 4/10
After scoring 47 in the powerplay phase, the pressure was always on the home side to capitalise on their strong start. Just as the pressure crept in, it had an immediate effect on the team, losing the youngster Shaw in the eighth over of the innings. However, after that over, the entire fixture just was swept aside by the partnership between Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane. The veterans of the IPL put on a real show for the fans, smashing the ball to all parts, including taking the attack to Tom Curran. It meant that the Capitals were racing away with the game, at 144/1 after the 15-over period in the game.
In comparison to their earlier efforts in the encounter, Rajasthan’s batting unit did a far better job during the middle patch of their run-chase, where the only thing barren was the wickets column. After being reduced to 52/4, the Royals lost Riyan Parag early on in the 7th over before Ben Stokes stitched a partnership with Rahul Tewatia to take the hosts to a total of 95, with the loss of one extra wicket from early on.
Death bowling: RR 6/10 and DC 2/10
Despite the home side picking up three wickets in the last 30 deliveries, it came at a big cost, the cost of nearly conceding the game to the opposition. With a bowling unit that comprises Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat and Tom Curran, the RR conceded 67 runs in the last five overs to take control of the fixture, thanks to the brilliance down the order by Rishabh Pant. Overall, that boosted Delhi’s chance of winning, as they piled on 211 runs for the loss of four wickets.
By the time it reached the climax of the mega-clash, the game was already done and dusted, with the Royals struggling at 95/5. As soon as the last phase started, Rahul Tewatia fell, leaving Ben Stokes to pull off a miracle, which also fell flat on their face. They could only add 44 runs on board towards the end as DC pulled off a 72-run victory.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Good
This particular fixture was filled with elements of both good batting and a good bowling display. While the Capitals put on a blockbuster in the first innings, with Shikhar Dhawan leading the charge, in the second innings, it was the Delhi bowlers who walked away with early wickets in the powerplay.
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