Rajasthan Royals players celebrate their big victory © IANS
By R Vishal
May 15, 2014
Rajasthan Royals are within touching distance of securing a play-off spot with a comprehensive 62-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson‘s fluent knocks took Rajasthan Royals to a massive 201 for six after being put into bat by Kevin Pietersen.
Rajasthan started terribly by Ben Cutting dropping a sitter of Mayank Agarwal in the deep at fine leg. The Australian was comfortably placed at fine leg but made a mess of it. Cutting’s evening turned from bad to worse as Mayank Agarwal spanked some lovely shots to keep Delhi in the hunt. Agarwal’s joy was short lived as he could not clear Steven Smith at mid on off the bowling.
Pietersen’s miserable run continued and along with Dinesh Karthik, were unable to find the boundaries chasing a huge score and were already facing a tall order. A couple of bizzare incidents happened on the field. First was Pietersen not grounding the bat and the ball hitting the stumps. There was a faint appeal from the Rajasthan fielders but the umpires did not budge.
Delhi Daredevils crawled along and Dinesh Karthik ran out of patience and pulled straight to Ben Cutting at fine leg. JP Duminy came at the crease and the batsmen are trying to steady the ship after the early couple of blows. After hitting a big six over long on and Duminy perished after chipping the ball straight to Karun Nair. What followed was a flurry of wickets which led to a free-fall with Manoj Tiwary giving stiff resistance while wickets were falling like nine pins at the other end.
The impressive Kedar Jadhav was unfortunately run-out at because of miscommunication with the non-striker and Shahbaz Nadeem and Imran Tahir also tried to hit out and disappeared. Tiwary rallied around the tail and reached his half-century but Delhi slumped to yet another loss and Rajasthan would have been mighty pleased with the massive run-rate margin of their victory.
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) beat Delhi Daredevils 139 for 9 in 20 overs (Mayank Agarwal 17, Manoj Tiwary 61*, Rahul Shukla 14; Rajat Bhatia 2 for 18) by 62 runs.
Man of the Match : Ajinkya Rahane
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(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)