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|Jofra Chioke Archer||3.1||0||31||1||9.79|
Delhi Daredevils' joy of promising resurgent win over Kolkata Knight Riders didn't last long as they have again been pushed to the edge by the Super Kings at Pune. They have now played eight games and with only two wins, they'd now need to win all of their remaining six starting with their next game against Rajasthan Royals. The Royals too aren't in a good position either and have won just three out of the seven matches. A win here will place them on par with Kolkata Knight Riders and provide them with a realistic shot at the playoffs and a loss would take them closer to elimination. The two teams meet on 2nd May at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi in a quest to turn their fortunes around.
Riding on their success against Kolkata Knight Riders in the game before, the Daredevils went into their game against CSK with a bucketful of confidence and although it reflected in their batting, their bowling was nothing more than ordinary.
Winning the toss and putting the Super Kings into bat, Daredevils didn't start well and their poor start was helped with some bad luck as Shane Watson survived an LBW decision which could have gone either way. Watson went on to make a match-winning 78. Liam Plunkett was smashed all over the park and conceded 52 from his three overs. Barring Amit Mishra and Avesh Khan, all of their bowlers were smashed and taken for runs.
Chasing a total of a tall order was never going to be easy and a poor start only made things difficult. Prithvi Shaw couldn't repeat his last match heroics and perished while going for one shot too many. However, they were on par with the required run rate when Colin Munro departed with 46 runs on board after five overs.
With the form Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant were in, the total could've been swallowed by the Daredevils had they stayed till the end. But as the luck would have it, Shreyas Iyer was, unfortunately, ran out before he could do anything substantial. Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar tried to knock the target off with their brilliant innings, but even that proved to be too little too late. Furthermore, Maxwell's yet another failure didn't help their cause either.
Since Gautam Gambhir has resigned from the captaincy, the new opening pair has done brilliantly. Delhi Daredevils have done pretty well as far as their batting is concerned, but there have been cases where captaincy decisions could've been better. Shreyas Iyer is still a young captain and he has ignited a new spark in the Daredevils' camp. If bowlers can improve their performance, this Delhi lineup will be a force to deal with.
Prithvi Shaw, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer, RR Pant, Glenn Maxwell, V Shankar, LE Plunkett, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Avesh khan, TA Boult.
Sunrisers Hyderabad yet again aced their defense and this time the double Rs were at the receiving end of it. The Royals started off with a brilliant bowling effort to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to a modest total of 151, but their batting lacked the intent in the final overs to chase down the total.
Rajasthan Royals made a couple of changes going into the match. They dropped Shreyas Iyer and Heinrich Klassen for Ish Sodhi and Mahipal Lomror and it would be fair to say that the changes did pay off. Ish Sodhi picked up Kane Williamson who was looking to run away with the game which triggered their batting collapse.
As said by Ish Sodhi during the half-time break, the total was a little under par which conveys that 151 was a total which the Royals would have taken. Their chase didn't start off well with Tripathi departing quickly while trying to attack Sandeep Sharma. The opening combination has been a problem for them and they'd have to sort it before it is too late. We may see Jos Buttler open the innings in the next match or D'Arcy Short making his way back into the side.
Sanju Samson was once again the pick of their batsmen and scored quick forty before he was out while trying to pull a slowish delivery. Ben Stokes tried to smash Yusuf Pathan out of the park but ended up getting castled instead. He was out without troubling the scorers.
With 54 required off final six overs, the match was evenly poised. However, the lack of intent from the skipper and sending debutant Lomror ahead of in-form K Gowtham left them with 27 required off 12 deliveries. Mahipal Lomror departed in the same over and with 21 required of final over, it was too much to do.
Rajasthan Royals have only themselves to blame for the situation they're in. The Royals have been over-dependent on Sanju Samson in the batting and only a little contribution from their overseas players hasn't helped their cause. It's now or never kind of situation for the Royals and they'd need the likes of Stokes and Buttler to show what they're known for and if they can do it, we will be in for a cracker of a match.
Ajinkya Rahane, D'Arcy Short, SV Samson, RA Tripathi, BA Stokes, Jos Buttler, K Gowtham, Jofra Chioke Archer, S Gopal, JD Unadkat, DS Kulkarni.
While the trend of batting second has subsided a little in the last few matches and considering that both the sides have done well while defending in their recent matches, batting first will be the way to go at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi.
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Feroz Shah Kotla has been a high scoring ground and it was evident as Delhi Daredevils racked up a total of 219 in the last game they played here. Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils have both done well while defending totals off-late and this might just tempt them to choose to bat first on a flat-track.
Both teams have had a similar fortune this year. Both have delivered a couple of astounding performances which were accompanied by some mediocre display. It is a do-or-die game for the Daredevils and for Rajasthan things could escalate quickly if they do not perform here. While Rajasthan Royals have experienced players, they haven't been performing. Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, have found a new spark since Shreyas Iyer has been crowned as their captain. Going by the recent performances, Delhi Daredevils go in as favorites to win this all-important game.
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