Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan smashed rapid fifties while Prithvi Shaw made a classy 42 as Delhi Capitals defeated Rajasthan Royals by x wickets to move to the top of the points table in the 2019 Indian Premier League. DC replaced defending champions Chennai Super Kings as No.1 thanks to a better net run rate.
It was heartbreak for Rajasthan Royals who had hoped to put up a better fight after Ajinkya Rahane’s 2nd hundred in his IPL career. But Pant, Dhawan and Iyer combined to ruin Rahane’s night.
Shikhar Dhawan blazed away to a rapid start for Delhi Capitals in their chase of 192. He stormed to a fifty off 25 balls and went past 400 runs in the IPL for the 4th successive season. But the Royals saw a ray of hope when Shreyas Gopal removed the marauding Dhawan for 54.
And when Riyan Parag snared Shreyas Iyer, Steve Smith and his men looked genuinely hopeful. Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant had played match-defining knocks for DC earlier in the season but they had looked woefully out of touch in recent games. But the two young guns joined forces, took their time to settle down and then unleashed a wide array of shots.
Rishabh Pant smashed his 2nd fifty of the 2019 IPL off only 26 balls and Prithvi Shaw kept growing in confidence and oozed class with every shot he played in the middle. He finally fell to Shreyas Gopal for 42 after an 84-run stand for the 3rd wicket with Rishabh Pant.
Pant was well set by the time DC lost Shaw and it was only a matter of time before they outclassed the Royals to dethrone Chennai Super Kings as the table-toppers.
Rajasthan Royals were rocked early after being asked to bat by Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer. Sanju Samson was run out without facing a ball after a horrible mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane.
At 5 for 1, the Royals needed a special effort from Rahane who had stuggled with the bat through the season and the man who replaced him as captain – Steve Smith. Ajinkya Rahane was all too determined to make amends and played some breathtaking shots.
Shreyas Iyer looked helpless and bereft of ideas as Rahane and Smith took his bowlers to the cleaners. It looked like the Royals were on course for a total well over 200 before Steve Smith fell to Axar Patel after scoring his 2nd successive fifty.
However, Ajinkya Rahane played some mind-numbing shots; his flick over fine leg off Chris Morris stood out s did his lofted drive off the same bowler the very next delivery.
Delhi Capitals must have rued Ishant Sharma’s lapse on the field; he had dropped Rahane on 16 and he made them pay. Ajinkya Rahane brought up his 2nd IPL hundred and his 1st since 2012 but the Royals were slowed down in the last 5 overs.
RR were 150 for 2 at the end of 15 overs. With 8 wickets in hand and a batsman like Rahane well set, they only managed 41 runs off the next 30 balls and without doubt, Delhi Capitals went to the break feeling a lot more confident than they did when Ishant dropped Rahane on 16.