Delhi Capitals defeated Rajasthan Royals by 13 runs, thanks to a fantastic bowling effort on Wednesday (October 14) at the Dubai International Stadium.
Chasing Delhi Capitals’ total of 161, the Royals’ batsmen would have fancied their chances but a cumulative bowling effort denied Rajasthan a second consecutive victory.
The English duo of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes provided a great start to Rajasthan where they reached 37 runs in the opening three overs.
Anrich Nortje provided the opening breakthrough when he bowled out Buttler with a 155 kph missile. Buttler had already hit him for 16 runs in that over but on the last ball, Nortje disturbed the stumps with a ball which was too fast even for Buttler.
Steve Smith’s poor run with the bat continued as he was caught and bowled by Ashwin just for 1.
After the two early wickets, Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson got together and kick-started a fine counter-attack. The duo stitched a 46-run stand for the third wicket.
Capitals’ debutant Tushar Deshpande, brought in place of Harshad Patel, got his maiden wicket at a crucial juncture – removing the well-set Ben Stokes for 41 (off 35 balls).
Samson was bowled by Axar to take Delhi Capitals into a commanding position. The seasoned Robin Uthappa did well to tie up one end and gave a good account of himself with a fighting knock of 33 (off 27 balls). Nortje was into the mix once again and removed Uthappa for his second wicket.
The Capitals bowlers were right on the money in the death overs and gave away just 25 runs in the final five overs to wrap up a fine victory.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals had won the toss and opted to bat first. Jofra Archer bowled a fiery opening spell where he bowled out Prithvi Shaw on the very first ball of the game.
Ajinkya Rahane, playing against his former side, was the next one to face the wrath of Archer – getting out for a paltry 2 off 9 balls.
After losing the opening two wickets in quick succession, the seasoned duo of Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship.
They engaged in a rapid 85-run stand for the third wicket to take the match to the opposition. Rajasthan bowlers were taken to the cleaners with some textbook strokes.
Dhawan made 57 (off 33 balls) while Iyer played second fiddle to him in a gritty innings of 53 (off 43 balls).
After the duo’s dismissal, Marcus Stoinis (18 off 19) and Alex Carey (14 off 13) failed to provide the fireworks on a difficult track at Dubai. The Capitals desperately missed the services of Rishabh Pant, who was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Delhi Capitals finished their innings at 161/7.
For Rajasthan, Jofra Archer was the pick of the bowlers with a fiery spell of 4-0-19-3.
With the victory, Delhi Capitals have reached the summit of the points table with 6 wins from their eight games.
Anrich Nortje was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for racking-up the crucial wickets of Jos Buttler and Robin Uthappa – returning with figures of 4-0-33-2.