As Rahul Dravid’s men visited Hyderabad, they needed a win in both their games to have a chance for the playoffs. Rajasthan Royals started as favourites when they took on Deccan Chargers – a team at the wrong end of the points table. The head to head record of the teams pointed in favour of the visitors. DC had never won a game against Rajasthan at home. Add to that, the possibility of making it to the playoffs as a reward for the Royals, and there seemed to be no way the Royals could slip up.
But perhaps, it was not meant to be. After fighting against the odds to stay in contention for the playoffs for so long, Rajasthan slipped where they were least expected to. In the reverse fixture earlier in this edition of the IPL, a high score by the Chargers was chased down comfortably by the Royals. The Chargers had won only once in the eight times these two sides met over the five seasons of the IPL.
Asked to field first this time, good bowling performances from Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra ensured that the Royals were restricted to a modest 126 in their 20 overs. Deccan Chargers, chasing a low total were off to a good start with the openers Shikhar Dhawan and AK Reddy keeping the required run rate low. After the dismissal of the opening pair, the Hyderabad side made a tough task of chasing an easy target. Skipper Cameron White and Lynn did little to trouble the scores and were back in the pavilion early, before AA Reddy took the side home with 8 balls to spare.
Star of the Day:
Dale Steyn was a key factor in deciding the outcome of the game. With brilliant bowling figures of 2/16 in his four overs, the South African pacer proved too hot to handle for the Rajasthan batsmen. His consistent bowling was crucial in restricting Rajasthan Royals to a low total.
Flop of the Day:
The Chargers’ stand in captain Cameron White was a flop with the bat, scoring only one run before taking the long walk back to the pavilion. Luckily for him, the target was a low one and the team still managed to get past the finish line despite the hiccups. He has not been consistent this season with the bat and coming in place of Sangakkara, could not do what was required of him.
Shot of the Day:
There were not many big shots to entertain the crowd in what was a low scoring game. Among the few boundaries that were, AK Reddy’s lofted shot over long on for six can be called the shot of the match.
Captain’s Critical Call:
The selection of AK Reddy into the team proved to be the right decision. Cameron White’s decision to send in AK Reddy to open the batting along with Shikhar Dhawan was decisive as the duo took the team off to a flying start, making the run chase easier. AK Reddy also top scored for the Chargers with 42 runs to his name as he built a 63-run opening partnership with Dhawan.
A low scoring game with not many fours and sixes, the match could definitely have been better in terms of the entertainment aspect. DC did make it difficult for themselves though, making the contest closer than it should have been.
The quality of bowling on display was excellent, especially from the Chargers. Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra bowled well and were rewarded with two wickets each to show for their efforts.
With a loss here, Rajasthan have been knocked out of contention for the playoffs. RR remain in seventh position in the points table with 14 points from their 15 games. They play MI at home in their last fixture this season and can finish with a win to round-off what has been a good campaign.
Deccan Chargers meanwhile, are still at the bottom of the table with 7 points in 15 games and they need a win in their last game against RCB to possibly move up from the bottom of the table into 8th place. The Hyderabad franchise may not be in with a chance for the playoffs but can play spoilsport once more as a win in the last game would put the Royals Challengers out of the playoffs.