Ajinkya Rahane's unbeaten 105 went in vain as Rishabh Pant's 36-ball 78 helped Delhi Capitals beat Rajasthan Royals by six wickets and move to the top of the table. DC' fifth win in their last six games, helped them overtake CSK on NRR with both sides on 14 points with DC having played a game more.
Here are the three major takeaways from DC' win over RR:
Rahane's record-breaking effort in vain
Ajinkya Rahane didn't have a great IPL going into this game. Not only has been below-par with the bat, but he is also no longer the captain of the side. But against DC, he played like a man on a mission after being given a life early in his innings, devoid of any burden bringing him down.
Ishant Sharma dropped a sitter at short fine leg when Rahane had scored just 16(off 18) and after that the opener just kicked into another gear. He scored an unbeaten 89 in his next 45 balls as he brought up his second IPL century, off just 58 balls.
Although Rahane finished with 105*, which broke the record for the highest score by an RR batsman, previously held by Shane Watson (104* vs KKR). Unfortunately, towards the end, wickets kept tumbling at the other end. From 150/2, they added just 41 runs and lost four wickets, which made all the difference.
Pant shows what he can do
Rishabh Pant's exclusion from India's World Cup squad certainly raised a few eyebrows especially considering his potential and ability in the middle-order. If the selectors needed any reminder, he showed them against RR that he is capable of finishing the innings as well.
Since 2017, Pant has been sensational in the IPL. No one has hit more runs (1386) or sixes (77) than Pant in that period and he has scored those runs at an average of 38.5 and strike rate of 168.82.
Against RR, his innings changed the complexion of the chase and he continually kept the required rate down. His 36-ball 78 helped DC get over the line with four balls to spare.
The thought of an in-form Dhoni, Pant and Pandya in India's middle-order to back the top three of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli sounds salivating. Unfortunately, that won't be possible barring injuries.
DC continue stunning away run
It has been a sensational season for Delhi Capitals. The main reason why they are at the top of the table with seven wins from 11 games has been their away form.
While most teams make their home ground their fortress, DC have flourished away from home. They have won five of their six away games and the only one they lost was a game they should have won (against KXIP).
While they have complained about the pitch at home, they seem to have no issues with the changing conditions and have so far managed to beat every team in the league once, barring CSK.
Their stunning away run now means that they need just one win from their final three games to progress.