Ajinkya Rahane yet again displayed his fine batting skills as he tried to disturb Delhi’s dominance in this year’s IPL. But the Daredevils held their nerves to squeeze out a win by a single run that strengthened their perch at the top of the table. Chasing 153 to win, Rajasthan Royals fell agonisingly short by 1 run in a game that saw Delhi snatch win from the jaws of defeat.
Earlier, Sehwag won the toss and elected to bat on a batting friendly Kotla wicket. Daredevils. however, got off to a shaky start as they lost Jayawardene and the in form Kevin Pietersen with just 19 runs on the board. However, Virender Sehwag brought up his third consecutive IPL fifty to lift the Daredevils to a score of respectability.
Sehwag played yet another blinder of an innings as he swated the Rajasthan attack to all parts of the ground en route to his 39 ball 68. The Daredevils’ captain hit 8 fours and two sixes as he kept the Delhi innings afloat. Sehwag was aptly helped by Ross Taylor who added 80 runs with him. But the final push to the innings was delivered by Naman Ojha who slammed a 20 ball 27.
The Rajasthan bowlers did a fantastic job of restricting Delhi to 152. Pankaj Singh and Amit Singh picked up two wickets each but Kevon Cooper was the pick of the bowers as he bowled a mean spell giving away only 19 runs.
The Royals innings got off to a Royal start as both Dravid and Rahane made merry on a flat track. They added 99 runs before Dravid departed for 40 falling to Irfan Pathan. But Ajinkya Rahane was superb again with his crisp strokeplay and delectable timing. He drove the ball sweetly and hit the big shots effortlessly. The Orange cap holder scored another half century but failed to finish off the job as he remained unbeated on 84 off just 63 deliveries.
Rajasthan looked favorites to seal the game but a briiliant penultimate over from Morne Morkel saw Delhi crawl back. The tall fast bowler gave away only three runs and picked up Brad Hodge to give Delhi the edge going into the last over. Needing 12 to win of the last over, the Royals could only manage 10 runs.
The win here cements Delhi’s position at the top of the table but Rajasthan Royals would be heart broken to lose a game that they should have won comfortably.
Delhi Daredevils 152/6 (20/20 ov)
Rajasthan Royals 151/3 (20.0/20 ov)
Man of the Match: Virender Sehwag