by IANS |
Navi Mumbai, May 12 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals had attempted a funky move: get Ravichandran Ashwin, the pinch-hitter at three, to get quick runs after the fall of Jos Buttler in power-play and get the left-right combination working, in this case Ashwin with Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Ashwin's charge on throwing his hands at everything had been working well till Jaiswal fell in the ninth over to Mitchell Marsh. The right-hander had been stuck till then and broke the shackles by dancing down the pitch to hit Kuldeep Yadav for six over long-off and then took a four off Sakariya with a cheeky ramp over keeper's head.
After reaching his fifty in 37 balls, Ashwin miscued to mid-off off Marsh. But Devdutt Padikkal continued to take runs off runs, taking successive fours - with a tickle through fine leg and slice over in-field at short third man.
After Shardul Thakur conceded nine runs off the 16th over, Nortje struck for Delhi as Sanju Samson miscued a cross-batted heave to a length ball on stumps to mid-wicket running to his right.
Though Riyan Parag hooked Nortje over deep backward square leg, he was undone by Sakariya's back of the hand slower ball in the 18th over, losing his bat in the process of mistiming to long-on.
Nortje returned in the 19th over to take out Padikkal two short of his half-century with an off-cutter which the left-hander could slice in the air and was pouched safely by substitute fielder Kamlesh Nagarkoti running in and making a dive to take a stunning catch, putting a full stop to Rajasthan's efforts of finishing with a bang.
Rassie van der Dussen and Trent Boult could get in just 14 runs off the last two overs, including a boundary off Nortje with Thakur conceding just six runs in the final over for Rajasthan to reach 160/6.
But the wobble caused by Delhi's bowling attack meant they could get only 53 runs for the loss of four wickets in the last six overs, robbing Rajasthan of the late impetus they needed and eventually, Delhi got the target they needed what Rishabh Pant had said at the toss, in the 140-160 range.