Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Royals’ team-effort trumps Daredevils

Jaipur, April 12: Despite putting up a commendable performance with the bat, Delhi Daredevils lost out to a well-in-form Rajasthan Royals. It was a match that proved to be unpredictable until the death overs  of the second innings.
After being asked to bowl, Rajasthan Royals started out impressively. Shaun Tait mustered all his strength to conjure up a delivery as fast as 157kmph; the fastest on Indian soil so far. Virender Sehwag was beaten for pace as he edged a lighting quick Tait delivery into the waiting hands of Rahul Dravid who was sharp as ever in the slips.
Aaron Finch walked in following the first dismissal and wasted no time in making his presence felt. He got off the mark by slamming a huge six (86metres) over the Mid-wicket area in the third over. It was clear that Finch had no intensions of playing economical as he went after Shaun Tait on the very first ball of the fifth over: A short ball pulled over mid-wicket hit the ropes in a jiffy. On the fifth ball of the same over, Finch attempted to repeat the pull for a similar boundary but Tait’s pace had him lift the ball up and into Botha’s hands within the circle.
With two wickets down by the fifth over, the shift in momentum mounted even more as Unmukt Chand, the new batsman played out a maiden over. With Warne closing in his fielders, Warner and Unmukt were forced to squeeze out singles in the 6thover.
Shane Warne’s decision to introduce himself in the seventh over proved lucky as he picked up two wickets in the first and third ball: Unmukt Chand edged an away going delivery to Rahul Dravid in the slips and Ojha scooped up a ball to Tait in the circle.
In came Venugopal Rao and seemed to be slightly lacking in concentration for the first few balls. Next three overs passed by uneventfully as Warner and Rao pushed the ball around for singles.
An 80 meter long six announced the mood of Venugopal Rao in the 11th over; it was that of a destructive batsman. From then on began a rampage like show by Rao, reaching a quick 50 off 37 balls. Warner at the other end seemed to have found his footing too, sending Shaun Tait deliveries into all corners off the stadium. 17 runs off this over were the highest for any over so far. In this over, he reached his 50 with a boundary.
Rao and Warner piled on a fifty three run partnership before Warner fell to an Amit Singh delivery in the seventeenth over. The score now was 112/5 in 17.4 overs. Venugopal continued his destructive streak which included a total of 4 fours and 4 sixes. He was out at 60(40).
Pathan delivered the final blows for the daredevils with two boundaries in the last over. With a score of 152 to defend. Delhi looked in good spirits.
The Royals’ batting performance was speckled with individual knocks of much utility. Dravid came out first and set the pace for the innings with continuous boundaries. 2 fours and a six in a Pathan over had the run rate above ten at this point. The 50 run mark was reached in the 6th over which included three more fours by Dravid. Back from a strategic time out in the seventh over, DD introduced Shaba Nadeem who bowled an impressive first over conceding only 2 runs.  The eighth over saw the dismissal of Rahul Darvid who knicked a ball off Van der Merwe to wicket keeper Ojha’s gloves.
The rest of the Royals’ batting included stellar performances by Botha who seemed to easily pick off singles ad accelerating the run rate whenever needed. At the other end, youngsters Maneria and Rahane provided the Rajasthan Royals with run bursts coming from massive sixes. However, both of them fell shortly after displaying great talent at the crease. By the 12th over RR needed 6 from 54 balls. 
By the 14th over, RR required 37 of 3 balls. Hereon, the required run rate seemed to be in complete control of the Royals.
Morne Morkel seemed to be the only threat among the DD bowlers as he scalped the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane in the 17th over. With Taylor out next, DD were eager to pick out one more wicket to generate any chances of a victory. At the start of 18thover, RR were 124/4. Botha and Taylor worked around some quick singles before Taylor launched into attack mode as he scored a four and a six in the over by Dinda to seal the victory.

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