Rajasthan Royals 150 for 7 (Miller 62, Morris 36*, Avesh 3-32) beat Delhi Capitals 147 for 8 (Pant 51, Unadkat 3-15) by three wickets
Despite missing Archer and Stokes for the rest of the season, Rajasthan Royals haven't lacked in spirit on Thursday. They might fell short of 4 runs against PBKS the other night but, chased down a tricky 147-run target against Delhi Capitals in 19.4 overs at Wankhede.
Sanju Samson and Co. bowled and fielded well to restrict Delhi to a modest 147 in the first innings. Delhi came hard in the second innings and reduced them to 42 for 5 inside in the first 10 overs. However, a couple of significant contributions from Chris Morris (36*) and David Miller (62) helped RR reach home and earn their first points in the tournament.
Here’s a look at three major talking points:
Rajasthan’s top-notch performance with the ball
Against a formidable Delhi batting line-up, Rajasthan surprised everyone with three left-arm seamers. Jaydev Unadkat was added to the line up alongside Chetan Sakariya and Mustafizur. The decision worked wonders for them as Unadkat put Delhi on the back foot right from start.
While Sakariya kept it tight at one end, Unadkat sent both the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw back to the pavilion inside the first four overs. Unadkat was given the third over inside the powerplay and he delivered once again, sending Rahane back to the dressing room. Soon Mustafizur came into the attack and he sent back Stoinis on nought to leave Delhi in all sorts of trouble at 37 for 4. Jaydev Unadkat finished his four-over quota for three wickets and 15 runs.
A lot of wickets were being picked by bowling the slower balls. RR kept bowling the cutters and pitched the ball at the right areas. Early wickets from RR never let Delhi recover and that made a lot of difference in the end.
Poor batting display from the top-order of both the teams
Taking nothing away from the bowlers, the top-order of both sides didn’t play too well. Yes, there was a lot a bit of movement from the surface but it wasn’t an unplayable track, to say the least. The top-order batsmen from both teams showed a lot of impatience at the start and that led to an early collapse in both innings.
Delhi lost 4 wickets for just 37 runs in the first seven overs. On the other hand, Rajasthan too lost five wickets for just 42 runs. Had they taken a bit more time in the middle, perhaps, things would have got much easier.
RR’s strong middle-order and Chris Morris cameo
In comparison to Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals has a lot more depth in their batting line up and the 7th match of IPL 2021 on Thursday was a testimony to that. Just like Delhi, Rajasthan too lost early wickets however their depth in the batting line up helped them reach home.
David Miller was picked as a replacement for Ben Stokes in the second game and the South African cashed in with both hands. The southpaw played a brilliant knock under pressure as he brought the side back into the game after the early collapse. He stitched a valuable 48-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Tewatia got out in the 15th over. Miller too got out in the next over after making a vital 62 off 43, including 7 fours and 2 sixes.
Rajasthan had lost seven wickets for 104 but was still very much in the game until Morris was at the crease. Morris along with Jaydev Unadkat took the side over the line as they scored 47 runs between them in just 25 balls, including as many as 5 sixes. Chris Morris hit 4 sixes en route to his unbeaten match-winning cameo of 36 runs off 18 balls.
After witnessing his cameo, no one is going to question why the franchise shelled out Rs 16.25 crore for the South African all-rounder in IPL 2021 auction. He is certainly a valuable asset in white-ball cricket.
To say the least, Capitals' skipper, Rishabh Pant missed the trick by not handing over the ball to Ashwin in place of Marcus Stoinis. That over went for 15 runs and momentum shifted back to RR. Ashwin was keeping David Miller and Tewatia guessing for his first three over which went for just 14 runs.
Questions To Be Answered
Is Delhi Capitals going to play the same combination going ahead?
Delhi opted for three overseas seamers and an-rounder in Marcus Stoinis, leaving out Shimron Hetmyer in the eleven against Rajasthan. Anrich Nortje will soon come back in the squad as well. With Woakes performing well, how will Delhi accommodated Hetmyer in the squad is a big question. Do they have an Indian big hitter in the middle order who could give depth to their middle order?
1. Delhi Capitals didn’t hit a single six in their innings against Rajasthan on Thursday. This was the first time when no six was hit in an innings at Wankhede Stadium.
2. Rishabh Pant has now scored four 50+ scores against Rajasthan Royals in six innings. He has 276 runs to his name at a staggering average of 69.00 against them