New Delhi: Jos Buttler’s heroics went in vain as Delhi Daredevils edged Rajasthan Royals by 4 runs in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Wednesday.
After rain halted the match for the second time on the night, Rajasthan’s revised target became 151 in 12 overs and their openers got off to a flier, especially Jos Buttler. Buttler sprayed boundaries to all corners off the park from the word go and his partner D’Arcy Short was content with playing second fiddle initially.
Buttler brought up his fifty off just 18 deliveries and at that point in time, Rajasthan were going great guns in the chase. However, the 82-run opening partnership was finally broken by Amith Mishra, who got the Englishman stumped for 67.
Trent Boult then scalped the wickets of Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes in one over and that titled the match in favour of the home side. Also, with these two wickets, Boult became the highest wicket-taker of the eleventh edition of the league and is now the proud owner of the purple cap.
After a slow start to the match, Short finally came to his own and slammed three sixes off three Glenn Maxwell deliveries to get the visiting team closer to the Delhi target.
However, his 44-run innings was cut short by Maxwell as he got his wicket on the fourth ball of the 10th over to put breaks on the onslaught. Needing 30 runs from final two overs, K Gowtham slammed a four and six off the penultimate over from Liam Plunkett and that helped RR get even closer to the DD target.
But Trent Boult bowled an excellent last over where he game away just 10 runs to help Delhi over the line. On the penultimate ball of the last over, skipper Shreyas Iyer had dropped a catch at the mid-wicket ropes and it went for a boundary, giving RR chance to hit a six off the last ball and steal the game. But Boult held his nerves and stopped the batsman from scoring a maximum.
Earlier, Rishabh Pant cracked a blistering 69 while captain Shreyas Iyer (50) hit his fourth fifty of the season as Delhi posted a commanding score of 196/6 in their designated 20 overs.
Prithvi Shaw (47) was once again in sublime touch and stitched together a 73-run stand with skipper Iyer for the second wicket after the side lost Colin Munro (0) on the fourth ball of the innings.
After Shaw’s dismissal, Iyer and Rishabh Pant combined to punish the wayward Royals’ bowlers, adding 92 runs for the third wicket in just 7.1 overs.
Iyer hit his fourth fifty in last five matches as he consumed 35 balls for his 50, hitting three sixes and as many fours. Pant hammered the Royals bowlers all around the park in his 29-ball knock, studded with seven fours and five sixes.
Jaydev Unadkat (3/46) removed both of them in the 15th over but by then the Daredevils had put up enough runs on the board. Vijay Shankar (17) came out to hit some lusty hits to help the hosts get close to 200-run mark. Rain began to lash the ground yet again and brought curtains on the Daredevils innings after 17.1 overs.
Shaw was stroking the ball nicely as he picked the lengths quickly but ended up giving a caught-and-bowled chance on a turning ball to leg-break bowler Shreyas Gopal in the eighth over of the innings.
His 47 came off 25 balls as he punished the Royals bowlers with four fours and as many sixes. Iyer joined the party by launching Gopal for two sixes. The first was off a full-length ball and the next was pitched short.
The spinner dismissed Shaw but conceded his fourth six of the innings when new man Pant launched him for a massive six over long-on. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes were the only bowlers who had managed to contain the rampaging Delhi batsmen a bit but Pant did not spare the West Indian when he bowled full and found the ball in the stands. In no time, the two batsmen raised a 50-run stand, taking just 27 balls between them.