Rajasthan Royals clawed defeat from jaws of victory as Delhi Capitals show resilience to take all two points on Wednesday.
Delhi Capitals got back to winning after a disappointing loss against Mumbai Indians last weekend. It was not a straightforward victory against Rajasthan Royals on October 14 at Dubai International Stadium. However, DC showed more composure than RR when the stakes were high.
Meanwhile, RR suffered a big blow in their quest to finish top four in the table. They were under control for most of the chase, but DC were more steady in the crucial juncture of the game. RR fell short by 13 runs as Delhi Capitals had managed to post 161 runs after winning the toss. Here are takeaways from an intriguing game in Dubai on Wednesday.
Anrich Nortje blows away RR batsmen with pace
RR got off to a flying start as Jos Butler and Ben Stokes started hitting boundaries from the word go. Anrich Nortje has been one of the best pace bowlers in IPL this season, but even he was not spared by Butler. The South African had the last laugh as he got the better of Butler with a peach of a delivery, exceeding the 150kph mark.
Nortje didn’t let the pace drop throughout the innings. He was much more economical in his second spell as he got the crucial wicket of Robin Uthappa. Nortje’s pace bowling was too hot to handle for RR batsmen as he bowled the fastest deliveries in IPL this season. Since he is getting better with every passing game, DC is expected to be even better in the second half of the tournament.
Steve Smith’s form remains a concern for RR
Butler and Stokes got RR to a good start, but the middle order couldn’t capitalize. Sanju Samson did hang around with Stokes, yet Steve Smith couldn’t deliver again. The Australian batsman has been going through a poor run of form since two good scores at the start of the season.
Smith is struggling to find the rhythm in his batting and giving away his wicket cheaply when the team needs him the most. RR needs their captain to fire to have a chance of making it to the playoffs. If his form doesn’t improve, then RR may have to consider another option in the batting unit.
Shikhar Dhawan getting back to his best
After a slow start to the IPL campaign, Shikhar Dhawan is getting into the groove for DC. The Delhi based team lost two quick wickets inside the powerplay, however, Dhawan showed great composure to take the attack to the opposition. The Indian batsman kept playing risk-free cricket to form a strong partnership with Shreyas Iyer.
Dhawan has been often criticised for not maintaining a good strike rate, but over the past couple of games, he has been scoring quickly. The southpaw managed to score 50 runs in 30 balls to give his team an ideal foundation to set up a big score.
It is just a matter of consistency for Dhawan as he has found the rhythm in his batting. Dhawan’s return to good form bodes well for DC as they eye a top-two finish in the league campaign.
By Kiran Thakare