Delhi Capitals find themselves at the top of the league table, a position they have not enjoyed since the 2012 season. Rajasthan Royals put up an impressive 191 on the board riding on the back of a brilliant 105 not out by Ajinkya Rahane. But even that was not enough to hold back the Delhi batsmen as Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant scored fifties at a strike rate of 200 or more to see Delhi Capitals home with 6 wickets in hand and four balls to spare.
Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals was run out without facing a ball when he got into a tangle with Rahane and couldn’t make his ground in the second over of the match. Rahane himself was lucky to get a reprieve when Ishant Sharma dropped a sitter off Axar Patel when the batsman was on 16 having played 18 balls. From there on Rahane changed gears scoring 79 runs off the next 35 balls that he faced. Rahane drove pulled, flicked and scooped the ball. Smith, who was giving Rahane company at the wicket also played a good attacking inning to score another fifty off 32 balls.
AT the end of the 13th over Rajasthan Royals were 135 for one and seemed to be headed to a score in the region of 220. But Smith was caught by Chris Morris off the bowling of Axar Patel. Ben Stokes continued with his low run of scores and was out when Shreyas Iyer latched on to a catch at long-on. To top it all Ashley Turner collected his third ‘golden duck’ in a row. He has been dismissed on 0 for five times in a row, four of them off the first ball that he faced. A tired looking Rahane (105 from 53 balls) with some assistance from Stuart Binny set Kings XI a target of 192 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan (54 off 27 balls) got stuck into the bowling from the word go lofting the ball to all corners of the park and a couple of times over the ropes. He plundered 15 runs off Shreyas Gopal who was introduced into the attack in the fourth over perhaps because of the dew factor later in the inning. Capitals were 62 for no loss at the end of power play with the run rate well under control. There was a hiccup when Dhawan and captain Iyer lost their wickets within a span of nine balls. But Rishabh Pant who came in at the fall of Iyer’s wicket took charge off the situation
Prithvi Shaw was not in his element and was scoring at a run a ball. Pant perhaps played his most mature innings of this IPL season. He had lost his wickets for low scores playing some silly shots early in his inning. This time he bided his time and waited for the loose ball to punish it. At no time did he allow the asking rate to go beyond 11 runs per over. Shaw (42 off 39)was out when he tried to lift Shreyas Gopal over the long-on boundary and was caught by Riyan Parag. Eight balls later Sherfane Rutherford was caught by Parag at long-off off the bowling on Dhawal Kulkarni.
By this time Delhi capitals needed only 17 runs from two overs of which Pant along with Colin Ingram scored 11 off the penultimate over. Ingram scored one run off the first ball of the last over while Pant lofted the next ball to mid-wicket. The ball hit the rope on the full giving Delhi Capitals a win over Rajasthan Royals by six wickets with four balls to spare. Although Capitals have 10 points, the same as Chennai super Kings they are ranked ahead by virtue of their superior run difference. Rajasthan, on the other hand, will have to win all of their matches and hope for favourable results fro other matches to make it to the playoffs.