It was the one match Delhi Daredevils should have won. Dealing with Chris Morris and Tim Southee at finish was not the same as bowling against Rahane, Faulkner or Hooda but despite his vast international experience as a player and captain of Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews could innovate nothing in his last over for Delhi Daredevils. Earlier, DD were given a great start by Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer but a bit of indulgence in the middle overs, slowed down the momentum. Though, JP Duminy finished unbeaten on 44 off 38, he couldn’t score fluently against Praveen Tambe and Deepak Hooda early on. Yuvraj Singh looked good but lost his way later. In a late surge, Duminy and Angelo Mathews, who benefitted from Ajinkya Rahane dropping him, ensured that Delhi Daredevils finished with 184. The target of 185 was pretty challenging for Rajasthan Royals and until the middle of the innings, DD held an upper hand. With Imran Tahir and Amit Mishra weaving a magical web, Royals still needed 109 in less than 10 overs, when Stuart Binny fell as the fourth RR wicket. But Rahane and Deepak Hooda stepped up on the gas pedal and took RR close to the target. After Rahane got out Hooda had Faulkner for company and the two of them made the task even easier before Imran Tahir swung the game in Delhi’s favor by two quick wickets. In the end, if Delhi lost, it was on account of their inability to contain Chris Morris and Tim Southee in over nos. 19 and 20.
Rajasthan Royals won the toss and sent Daredevils in to bat first. The DD openers, Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer played with determination and went for the bowling. When Agarwal fell DD had already compiled 45 in 4.4 overs. Skipper JP Duminy came one-drop but he was sedate and couldn’t open out until much later. Meanwhile Iyer continued from where Agarwal had left and with Duminy, he added 48 runs for the second wicket. With 3 fours and 3 sixes, Iyer scored 40 off the 30 balls that he faced. Yuvraj Singh was the next batsman after Iyer. Although Yuvraj played better than his last outing against CSK, more was expected of him since Duminy was not able to accelerate. Between 12th and 17th overs, the rate of scoring suffered. After the fall of Yuvraj Singh’s wicket, Angelo Mathews joined Duminy and from this point onwards scoring rate shot up. Mathews finished with 27 off 14 balls with 3 fours and a six, while Duminy also improved his strike rate to more than run-a-ball, which had remained low until Mathews’ arrival. Luckily for DD, Rahane dropped Mathews, when he had scored only 5 runs. The Sri Lankan didn’t give another chance as he belted the bowlers to hoist DD to 184 in the end.
In trying to chase the 185-run victory target, Rajasthan Royals lost Sanju Samson and Steven Smith by the 8th over for just 50/2 on board. Imran Tahir, Amit Mishra and Mathews were able to check the RR batsmen and the rate of scoring dropped perceptibly. With Karun Nair and Stuart Binny also losing their wickets, it became quite difficult for RR with just 78/4 in the 11th over. But Rahane and his new partner Deepak Hooda could enhance the rate of scoring with some big hits. While Rahane sealed one end, Hooda went for the bowlers and reached his half century in good time. Unfortunately, when on 54 scored off just 25-balls, the young batsman fell to Tahir as one of the South African’s 4 wickets for DD. Earlier Rahane was also bowled by Tahir and DD were back in the game despite Faulkner being around. When Hooda got out, 21 runs were required by RR from 11 balls and DD looked the favorite. But the pair of Chris Morris and Tim Southee played their part to perfection and ensured that RR finished their second IPL-8 match on a winning note.
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