The Indian Premier League 2021 happens to be the 14th edition of the lucrative Twenty20 league. Delhi Capitals is one of the three IPL sides to have not won the title so far. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals is a former champion, having won it once in 2008.
Former champion Rajasthan Royals overcame a batting howler to script a memorable three-wicket win in a low-scoring encounter over Delhi Capitals in Match 7 of the 2021 Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. It was David Miller (62) and all-rounder Chris Morris (36*), whose fearless innings helped RR pull off a challenging chase.
Winning the toss, DC skipper Pant opted to bowl first, as he made a couple of changes to the side, bringing in Kagiso Rabada and Lalit Yadav. Meanwhile, RR skipper Sanju Samson, too, made a couple of changes, as he got in David Miller and Jaydev Unadkat.
DC was off to a shaky start, losing three batsmen in the powerplay. It was Unadkat who got rid of them all, in the form of Prithvi Shaw (2), Shikhar Dhawan (9) and Ajinkya Rahane (8), as the score read 36/3 at the end of PP.
Just a run later, in the following over, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, too, could not contribute anything and fell for an unlucky duck to pacer Mustafizur Raham after being caught behind by Jos Buttler. It was then followed by a 51-run stand between Pant and debutant Lalit.
As Pant scored his 13th IPL half-century, he was ill-fatedly run out in the 13th over. At the score of 100, Lalit departed as well for 20 off pacer Chris Morris after being taken by Rahul Tewatia at long-on.
All-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin quickly followed it, run out for seven, eight runs later, in the 19th over. It was the pair of all-rounder Chris Woakes and Rabada who managed to bat until the end and scored 147/8.
For RR, six bowlers were utilised. While Unadkat had the best figures, he was also the most economical one.
As RR came out for the chase, while it was expected to be a smooth ride, it wasn't actually. The side, too, lost its top-order during the PP phase, with openers Manan Vohra (9) and Jos Buttler (2), along with Samson (4), as the score read 17/3 by the fourth over.
It was then 19 runs later when all-rounder Shivam Dube departed for a mere couple off pacer Avesh Khan, caught by Dhawan, in the eighth over. A couple of overs later, at 42, RR lost half of the side, with Riyan Parag falling for 2 to the same man in a similar fashion.
The pair of Miller and Rahul Tewatia tried to steady the ship, contributing to a 48-run stand for the sixth wicket. However, in the 15th over, the latter fell for 19 to Rabada after being caught by Lalit at mid-wicket.
Meanwhile, Miller brought up his 10th IPL 50 in the process and tried to go all out to control the escalating run-rate. However, at 104 in the 16th over, his heroics finally came to an end for 62 after Lalit caught him at long-off off Avesh.
Keep going, we keep believing. 👊— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 15, 2021
A fighting 5️⃣0️⃣ for Miller on his return. 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/nAg8TbeTtg
Nonetheless, the show was far from over for RR, as Morris and Undakat ensured that they pull this off. The former eventually nailed it with his 18-ball 36, thus allowing RR to win the tie by three wickets.
As for DC, it too utilised six bowlers. While Avesh produced the best figures, Ashwin turned out to be the most economical.
Brief scores: DC 147/8 (Pant- 51; Unadkat- 3/15) lost to RR 150/7 (Miller-62, Morris- 36; Avesh 3/32) by three wickets.
Last Updated Apr 15, 2021, 11:25 PM IST