Delhi Capitals returned back to winning ways as they defended 162 against Rajasthan Royals after they were once 86 for 2 in the chase. Delhi Capitals' death overs display was top notch as Rabada, Nortje, Despande and Ashwin completely choked the RR batting, even Rahul Tewatia couldn't do anything.
With 29 needed of 18 deliveries and a set Robin Uthappa in the middle alongside Rahul Tewatia, Anrich Nortje had a big task at his disposal. But he got the well set Uthappa, castling his stumps as he got out on 32 off 27 and that was the moment that changed the game as a set batsman could well have finished the game easily especially if he has pedigree and experience like Uthappa. He gave away just four in the 18th over.
Highs and Lows
No matter what the format is, there's just a different level of allure altogether, when a left-hander is in cracking form especially if he is aesthetic. Shikhar Dhawan was at his blasting best tonight as he smashed RR bowlers left, right, center, and showed the power, the confidence, the fierce strokeplay that has made him a gun ODI opener. DC were in a spot of bother at 10 for 2, but he got going, and unlike the last game, batted at a rapid rate tonking 57 off 33 at 172.73 and his free flowing batting was a spectacle to watch with six fours and two sixes before he perished.
Prithvi Shaw has been impressive and when he gets on a roll, he is a delight to watch. But some of his issues are just not going anywhere. Shaw has this tendency of not coming in line with the delivery, as his back foot stays rooted in the crease. Now, when the ball is moving, that's a big problem. Jofra Archer taught Shaw that the hard way, as he castled his stumps on the first delivery of the game, even before he could open his account. The ball jagged back, and Shaw wasn't up to the task.
Powerplay exploitation - DC 7.5 /10 RR 8/10
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, Delhi Capitals' innings was derailed quite early as they lost two wickets in the first 15 deliveries accumulating just 10 runs. Jofra Archer, who's finally getting more overs in the powerplay, sent back Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane early. But thanks to DC opener Shikhar Dhawan, who finally looked in swashbuckling touch after ages, Delhi ended the powerplay with 47 runs, adding 37 runs in 21 deliveries post Rahane's dismissal. Dhawan showed elite intent and made 30 off 15 in PP to give DC a decent start.
After racing to 37 runs in 2.5 overs, Rajasthan Royals ended with 50/2 at the end of the powerplay. It was very decent given you need to get as many runs as possible in the first six overs, making use of pacers' overs before spinners come into play and start impacting the game with the slowness of pitch coming to the fore. In the chase of 162, RR openers showed great intent with Stokes making 25 off 21 while Buttler smacked 22 off 9.
Death Bowling- DC 9.5/10 RR 9/10
Coming into the game, Rajasthan Royals had the second-worst-death bowling economy rate (11.9) in the tournament. But they completely choked Delhi Capitals, who had a set Shreyas Iyer and an in-form Marcus Stoinis in the middle at the start of the death overs. Kartik Tyagi, who shot to fame with some peach yorkers in the junior World Cup, set the tone with three runs in the first of the five death overs, scalping a well set Iyer. DC could merely make 32 in the final five overs, hitting just a four and a six each, and ended up at 161, 15-20 runs short of what they were expected to make. Tyagi and Archer gave 8 and 16 runs respectively in their final two overs while Unadkat conceded 8 in the final over.
With 39 needed off the last 30 and five wickets in RR’s hands, Rahul Tewatia still in the middle, the match could have swung either way. But then the likes of Rabada, Nortje were never going to serve the match on a platter. Ashwin started with a two run over. Rabada’s last two overs yielded 11, Nortje gave four in his last over while debutant Tushar Deshpande sealed the deal brilliantly in the final over conceding 8 runs. All in all, DC just gave 25 runs at death.
Ground Fielding and Catching- DC 8/10 RR 8.5/10
With seven drops in seven games and being one of the worst catching teams this season, the Royals did a great job today as they didn't let any catches off the hook. In fact, they took some decent catches if not great while Ben Stokes, one of the best fielders in the world, made a phenomenal attempt to catch Shreyas Iyer on the boundary ropes, and summed up the efforts of the Royals in the field, as they complemented their brilliant bowling. In the eight over too, Sanju Samson was on the attack as he tried to take a tough catch though the ball fell short, so kudos to RR in terms of efforts in the field.
With 10 spilled chances in their first seven games, Delhi Capitals have had their share of let-ups with Prithvi Shaw leading the way, having dropped three catches in the tourney. But, today, defending 162, DC were sharp with skipper Shreyas Iyer leading from the front as he made a diving effort to his left to set the tone in the field and had to even walk off. But it rubbed on others as Dhawan, Rahane picked up from where Iyer left, with Axar Patel, taking it forward running out Riyan Parag. And just as I wrote it, Anrich Nortje dropped Tewatia. But then Rahane made up for it with a brillaint save in the final over, saving a potential six.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Excellent
This was an IPL classic and till the end, you didn't have an idea which way the pendulum will swing, finally! When RR started off with a bang - taking early wickets, Shikhar Dhawan attacked and when DC got on a roll, the double Rs fought back at death. In the second-go, when the Royals started off with a smack outscore on the back of Buttler-Stokes, DC again counter punched hard and it was a see-saw contest throughout, keeping fans on their toes, making up for an excellent show in Dubai.