The Rajasthan Royals failed to chase down 39 runs from the last five overs as some tight bowling from the Delhi Capitals saw the Shreyas Iyer-led side pick up a 13-run win in the 30th match of IPL 2020 at Dubai.
Set a target of 162 to get in tough conditions, RR got off to a positive start but floundered towards the end, with the DC bowlers, led by Kagiso Rabada and Ravichandran Ashwin, continuously piling pressure on the opposition batsmen.
The move to promote Ben Stokes up the order worked for the Royals early on though, with the southpaw and Jos Buttler putting on a 37-run partnership to get the chase off to an aggressive start.
However, Nortje castling Buttler in the third over and Steve Smith's continued miseries with the bat meant that RR lost two wickets in quick time as an out-of-form Sanju Samson joined Stokes out in the middle.
The stylish right-hander finally seemed to be in good nick after five single-digit scores and made his way to an 18-ball 25, only to see his stumps pegged back by an arm ball from Axar Patel in the 12th over.
Before Samson departed, DC managed to send back Stokes, and it was left for Robin Uthappa and the all-rounders to take their side across the line. Uthappa did keep the scoreboard ticking with a 27-ball 32, but once Nortje removed him with a searing yorker, it was all down to the Rahul Tewatia-Jofra Archer pair.
Eventually, the DC bowlers delivered tight lines and lengths as the RR batsmen found it hard to get under the ball and loft it away, falling short by a 13-run margin.
Dhawan, Iyer fifties lift DC to 161/7
The Capitals were struck an early blow after opting to bat first, with Prithvi Shaw edging the first delivery of the match onto his stumps to depart for a duck. Ajinkya Rahane too perished after a laborious 9-ball 2, and with DC in early trouble at 10/2 in the third over, the onus was on Dhawan and Iyer to stabilize the batting effort.
That's precisely what transpired as the duo put on an important 85-run stand, with Dhawan bringing up his half-century off 30 balls in the 11th over. With Dhawan gone, Iyer donned the aggressor's role and slammed Jaydev Unadkat for two sixes in the 15th over, and in the process brought up his fifty off 40 deliveries.
However, post DC skipper Iyer's dismissal on the last ball of the 16th over, the batting side lost the momentum and collected just 29 runs from the last four overs, as they finished with a par score of 161/7 from 20 overs.
IPL 2020: DC v RR, Who won man of the match yesterday?
Although the numbers don't paint a pretty picture, Anrich Nortje's impact with the ball went a long way in helping the Capitals hold an upper hand in the match.
The South African pacer first dismissed Jos Buttler with a delivery that clocked over 155 kph, and just as it looked like RR were cruising towards a win, he removed Robin Uthappa with a yorker.
While Nortje finished with figures of 2/33 from his four overs, his two wickets had quite an impact on the overall result, and as a result, he was named the Man of the Match in yesterday's IPL match.