Jaipur: Delhi Capitals defeated Rajasthan Royals by six wickets in the Indian Premier League here Monday. Sent into bat, Rajasthan Royals scored 191 for six in the stipulated 20 overs, and then, Delhi Capitals chased down the target with four balls to spare.
Delhi Capitals win the first meeting this season against Rajasthan Royals, and Ajinkya Rahane’s cracking century goes in vain. Shikhar Dhawan provided the early impetus, but when he fell to Shreyas Gopal, Rajasthan would have seen an opening. That little gap in the door was slammed firmly shut by Rishabh Pant, with a buccaneering 78 off just 36 balls.
Delhi Capitals top the points tally with better run rate while Chennai and Mumbai Indians are in the second and third positions. Earlier, blending panache with power, Ajinkya Rahane roared back to form with a scintillating century and propelled Rajasthan Royals to 191 for six.Rahane remained not out on 105 off 63 balls, decorating his knock with three sixes and 11 fours, while Steve Smith contributed 50 off 32 deliveries.
Asked to bat after Shreyas Iyer called correctly at the toss, Rahane spearheaded Rajasthan Royals’ innings after getting a life on 16, the culprit being Ishant Sharma, who dropped a sitter at sort fine-leg. The drop hurt the visitors, but Delhi did well to prevent RR from going past 200.
Entering the game with over 650 runs against Delhi in the league, Rahane chose his favourite opponents to find form, and when he walked back to the dressing room, he had over 750 to his name. To start with, Rahane drove Ishant through a crowded off-side field for a boundary, a shot that had his characteristic elegance written all over it.
Stripped of captaincy last week following a string of poor results, the 30-year-old went into attack mode and smashed Axar Patel for a six and a four at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, which had a dash of pink. Seeing the flight early, Rahane danced down the crowd to hoist’s Axar ball over him and into the sightscreen.
Unfazed by the sight of pacer Kagiso Rabada steaming in, he smoked the South African’s short of a length delivery down the ground for another maximum.He reached his fifty by dispatching Chris Morris over the mid-wicket for a four and celebrated it with fist p umps. A flurry of boundaries followed as Rahane galloped along to bring up his second IPL hundred, the first coming seven years ago.He raised his bat to acknowledge the applause from the crowd and his dugout that was as relieved as the batsman himself.
Rajasthan Royals: 191-6 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 105 not out, Steve Smith 50; Kagiso Rabada 2-37) lost to Delhi Capitals: 193-4 in 19.2 overs (Rishabh Pant 78 not out, S Dhawan 54; S Gopal 2-47).