Royal Show Sinks Sloppy Delhi - The New Indian Express

Royal Show Sinks Sloppy Delhi

Published: 15th May 2014 11:56 PM

Last Updated: 16th May 2014 12:29 AM

AHMEDABAD: The ruthless efficiency of Rajasthan Royals was on display at the Sardar Patel Stadium as the hosts sauntered to a comprehensive 62-run win over a hapless Delhi Daredevils on Thursday. 

Their seventh win in 11 matches has taken the former champions, lying third with 14 points, a step closer to ensuring one of the four play-off spots in the eight-team league. 

The Royals played the various segments of their innings to near perfection, setting the visitors a daunting target of 202. Stylish opener Ajinkya Rahane (64 off 50) anchored the innings brilliantly, his partner Karun Nair (19 off 14) set the tone early, pinch-hitter Kevon Cooper (32 off 16) provided the impetus, Sanju Samson (40 off 25) built on the momentum and James Faulkner (23 n o off 8) supplied the flourish at the end. 

                   Gallery: Daredevils No Match for Royals

The only time the ‘Royal’ script looked to be going awry was in the 18th over when leg-spinner Imran Tahir gave away just two runs and sent back Stuart Binny and Sanju. But the penultimate over, bowled by Manoj Tiwary, was hammered for 19 runs as Ben Cutting and Faulkner swung a six each over mid-wicket, the former’s hefty pull disappearing into the darkness.

Faulker then smashed Rahul Shukla for consecutive sixes in the final over to return unconquered. 

The hosts proceeded to back that up with a clinical effort in the field, even as the bottom-placed DD capitulated without a fight. All seven bowlers tried out by stand-in skipper Steven Smith figured among the wickets. 

A new look top order failed to fire for the Daredevils as RR picked up wickets at regular intervals. Mayank Agarwal and Kevin Pietersen came out as Daredevils’ new opening pair, and showed some intent with Agarwal spanking a few boundaries. 

Once Agarwal was sent back by Faulkner, Delhi began falling apart like a pack of cards. Pietersen had a lucky escape when substitute fielder Unmukt Chand, with an acrobatic effort, caught him short of the crease off the fifth ball of the third over, but square leg umpire S Ravi did not think it close enough to refer the third umpire. This is the second occasion, against the same opponents, that KP has benefited from such fortune this IPL. It must recalled that umpire Sanjay Hazare had been removed from IPL panel after a similar misjudgement when the team teams met in Delhi on May 3. 

The DD skipper, however, did not survive long as Rajat Bhatia deceived him with a slower one. Ben Cutting, who had earlier dropped Pietersen at long leg off Kulkarni, held on to an offering from Dinesh Karthik at the same place off the same bowler.

Killing off the contest, Bhatia also deceived Ross Taylor, plucking a caught and bowled out of thin air, after star batsman J P Duminy was consumed by Karun at backward point off Pravin Tambe. 

                 >>  I Got It Wrong at the Toss: Pietersen

After being asked to bat first, RR made a steady start and then sprang a surprise at the fall of the first wicket. Out came the gangling Cooper, who struck three sixes and a couple of fours to have the DD bowlers in a tizzy. 

The experiment with the left-handed Ankit Sharma at the top lasted for just the one match, against Chennai Super Kings. Regular openers, Rahane and Karun were back, timing the ball away for runs as RR raced to 43 in five overs. 

Sanju, left out in the previous game, was back with a bang, slamming three sixes down the ground. He shared a 74-run stand for the third wicket with Rahane, off just 39 balls, as RR shifted gears. 

Earlier, the start of the match was delayed by 15 minutes after a slight drizzle just after the toss. Steven Smith took on the captaincy after RR decided to rest Shane Watson, who is nursing a slight injury. 

Delhi replaced the struggling openers Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay with Ross Taylor and Manoj Tiwary. Nadeem came in for Mohammad Shami. The Royals brought back wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, apart from naming Ben Cutting and Dhawal Kulkarni in the eleven.

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