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By R Vishal
May 15, 2014
Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson‘s fluent knocks took Rajasthan Royals to a massive 201 for six against Delhi Daredevils after being put into bat by Kevin Pietersen. As has been the case in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014, Delhi’s bowling was poor and was not backed by the fielders and have to play out of their skin to chase down the score.
After a slight rain delay at the start Rahane got Rajasthan Royals off to a blazing start. Rahane went out guns blazing in just the second ball of the over and it was clear that the pitch have any demons in it despite the rain delay. The second over by Shukla and it opened the floodgates. Karun Nair too got on the act and both batsmen were severe against the medium pacers of Shukla. Rahane, was severe and played a couple of gorgeous cover drives and a flick to get the score racing to 43 in just 5 overs.
Shahbaz Nadeem, who has been one of the few bright spots for Delhi in IPL 7 got the breakthrough after Karun played across the line was trapped in front of the stumps. In yet another surprise move, Rajasthan promoted Kevon Cooper and it yielded rich dividends with a three towering sixes when the slower bowlers were torn apart. Imran Tahir’s attempted googlies — which were hammered by Yuvraj Singh in the last game was taken apart here as well and exponentially helped Rajasthan’s run-rate. Cooper’s cameo came to end when he tried lifting Duminy out of the park and the ball landed straight to the throat of Lakshmi Ratan Shukla at deep-extra cover. Sanju Samson came to the crease and was also in an aggressive mood. Samson hit a superb six straight down the ground and the sailed out of the ground.
Rahane continued form he left and continued to be on the offensive with some fine boundaries all around the wicket and was heading close to a half-century. The partnership between Samson and Rahane was slowly taking the game the game away and they were going hammer and tongs at the bowling. The fielding was also sloppy and a 200+ score was on the cards. Rahane reached his half-century and Samson was also looking poised to follow suit but a mini collapse triggered by Tahir saw Rajasthan loser their way a little bit. Trying to cut the ball, Rahane was bowled and Kedar Jadhav ran from the deep to take an excellent diving catch to send back Samson. Binny also departed but Rajasthan were in safe hands in in James Faulkner‘s hands. Faulkner went berserk and hit some towering sixes out of the ground. Faulkner hit two sixes of the last over and the score sailed past sailed past 200.
Rajasthan Royals 201 for 6 in 20 Overs (Ajinkya Rahane 64, Kevon Cooper 32, Sanju Samson 40; Imran Tahir 2 for 25, Shahbaz Nadeem 2 for 35) vs Delhi Daredevils.
(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)
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