Report: Match 23 – RR vs DD

Karun helps Royals stamp their authority at Kotla

By Harsh Kalan
Mumbai 03 May 2014
A spirited performance by Karun Nair (73* off 50 balls) helped the Rajasthan Royals beat the Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. During their chase of 153, the youngster stayed in the middle throughout the run-chase and eventually struck the winning runs with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, Shane Watson chose to field first after winning the toss. Meanwhile, for DD, Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay opened the innings. The pair started out fluently and punished any loose offerings from the RR bowlers. However, Vijay (13) departed in the fifth over with the score on 33. The Daredevils skipper, Kevin Pietersen, walked in next. He was, however, lucky to get a second life – thanks to a bungled run-out call – in the seventh over while he was on three. But fortunately for RR, Pietersen (14) did not stick around to make a big score; he was caught by Steve Smith off the bowling of Pravin Tambe. And three deliveries later, the leg-spinner got rid of the well-set de Kock (43).

With DD on 71 for three, Dinesh Karthik and JP Duminy joined forces. But their liaison did not last long as Faulkner got rid of Karthik (12) in the 16th over. However, Duminy (39) rallied on till the final over, along with Kedar Jadhav (28*), whose 14-ball cameo propelled DD past 150. While Duminy was dismissed by Kane Richardson, Jadhav remained unbeaten till the end as the Daredevils notched up 152 for five in 20 overs. For RR, Tambe (4-0-25-2) and Faulkner (4-0-26-2) were the top wicket-takers.

In response, the Royals opened their innings with Ajinkya Rahane (12) and Karun Nair. But barely three overs into the run-chase, the diminutive opener was dismissed by Wayne Parnell. Sanju Samson (34) then walked in at No.3 and struck up an innings-steadying partnership with Nair. The pair added 51 runs for the second wicket, before Karthik stumped him off the bowling of Shahbaz Nadeem. Nair, however, was in sublime form and he continued to lead RR’s charge along with Rajat Bhatia. His onslaught continued even as Bhatia (17) got out in the 15th over.

At that point, RR were 115 for three and Watson (16*) took strike in place of Bhatia. He played the supporting role as Nair compiled a well-deserved half-century while helping his team inch towards the target. The duo eventually took RR across the line with an unbeaten 41-run stand. Nair’s 50-ball stay at the crease produced 73 runs, of which 44 came from fours and sixes. In fact, the 22-year-old Karnataka batsman even dispatch the ball to the fence to clock in the winning runs with nine balls to spare in the innings.

Man of the Match: Karun Nair for his match-winning half-century
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