Rajasthan Royals clinched their first points of VIVO IPL 2018 upon their return to the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. In a rain-affected contest at their fortress, the Royals defeated the Delhi Daredevils by 10 runs.
Put into bat, the Rajasthan Royals had made 153-5 in 17.5 overs when their innings had to be prematurely terminated because of showers. The rains kept the players off the field for more than two and half hours, and when play resumed, the Daredevils were given a target of 71 runs in six overs – the target revised using the DLS method.
The Daredevils lost Colin Munro off the first ball of their chase, and despite the best efforts of their big-hitters – Glenn Maxwell (17), Rishabh Pant (20) and Chris Morris (17*) – they only managed to get to 60 in the allotted six overs.
Standout batting performances
Sanju Samson’s 37 was the best knock in the Rajasthan Royals innings. The 23-year old made run-scoring look easy and played eye-catching strokes; during his 22-ball stay in the middle, Samson hit 2 fours and 2 sixes. The boundaries came on the off-side – by means of an elegant-looking square drive and a deft late-cut, while the sixes came on the leg-side – over long-on and over midwicket.
Samson was dismissed at the end of the tenth over when he attempted to slog-sweep the left-arm spinner, but only managed to drag the ball back onto his pad and eventually onto his stumps.
Notable Support Act - Batting
Ajinkya Rahane made 45 from 40 balls opening the innings. The Rajasthan Royals skipper held his end up even as wickets continued to fall at the other end. Rahane, who was involved in a mix-up that resulted in the dismissal of D’Arcy Short, was slow off the blocks and hit his first boundary off the last ball of the fifth over. He executed the pull shots well – collecting three boundaries in the region between square-leg and midwicket. In the thirteenth over he hit Mohammed Shami for boundaries off consecutive deliveries, but fell victim to the left-arm spinner in the following over when he attempted to pull a slightly short delivery, but miscued the hit and holed out to the fielder at point.
Standout bowling performance
Dhawal Kulkarni did not pick up a wicket, but his over had a telling impact on the outcome of the match. Bowling the second over of DD’s innings, Kulkarni bowled cutters to deny the batsmen any room and any pace off the surface. Despite the field restrictions being in force, he conceded only 5 runs – 3 singles off the bat, a leg bye and one run through wide.
Ben Laughlin walked away being the Royals’ most successful bowler, with returns of 2-20 from his two overs. The Australian pacer, who bowled the fourth and sixth overs of the innings, too bowled the cutters well and dismissed Maxwell and Vijay Shankar.
In the RR innings, Shahbaz Nadeem finished off well after conceding 23 runs in his first two overs; in his remaining two overs – bowling the eleventh and fourteenth of the innings – he conceded only 11 runs. During his four-over spell, the left-arm spinner – brought into the XI in place of Amit Mishra – dismissed RR’s two well-set batsmen - Samson and Rahane.
Stat of the Match
The win in this match stretched the Rajasthan Royals’ streak of consecutive wins over the Daredevils to 7 matches. It was also the Royals’ 9th consecutive win in an IPL match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 153-5 in 17.5 Overs (Ajinkya Rahane 45, Sanju Samson 37, Shahbaz Nadeem 2-34) beat Delhi Daredevils 60-4 in 6.0 Overs (Rishabh Pant 20, Ben Laughlin 2-20) by 10 runs (DLS Method)
Man of the Match: Sanju Samson, for his 22-ball 37.