Delhi Daredevils made six changes to their side but failed to amend their fortune as Rajasthan Royals beat them by nine wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Tuesday (May 7). Rajasthan's seventh home win in as many games took them to the second position on the points table, and a step closer to the qualifiers of this season's Pepsi Indian Premier League.
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Deciding to bat first, Delhi made 154 for 4 before Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane, reprieved in the fifth over when Pawan Negi dropped a skier at point, carried their form from the game against Pune Warriors India, posting Rajasthan's first century partnership of the season.
Short deliveries were punished off the back foot and anything on length was either driven or lofted over the in-field. Dravid hit Morne Morkel and Ajit Agarkar for three boundaries in four balls and the flow of strokes seemed to follow a cyclical pattern after that.
Dravid fell to a wild slog - caught at long-on by Agarkar for 53 - when the score read 108. But Rahane, who remained unbeaten on 63, and Shane Watson ensured that Rajasthan romped home with 13 balls to spare.
That Delhi crossed the 150-run mark was because of the unbeaten 76-run stand between Ben Rohrer and Kedar Jadhav. Rohrer, who returned from a wedding break in Australia only yesterday (May 6), made his first significant contribution of the season with a 40-ball 64, studded with nine fours and a six.
There was just enough pace on the track to his liking as he played most of his strokes on the square of the wicket. Against the spinners, he made good use of the sweep shot. With Rohrer in fine nick, Jadhav opened his arms and reaped rewards every time he found anything within his range.
Before Rohrer and Jadhav got together, Delhi's innings had only stuttered along. Playing across the line, in an attempt to hit his third boundary of the second over of the Delhi innings, Sehwag lost his stumps to an overpitched James Faulkner delivery. CM Gautam's non-committal flash to a Shane Watson delivery, and Sachin Baby's excellent diving catch at short cover to send Warner back reduced Delhi to 47 for 3 by the 8th over.
Jayawardene and Rohrer rebuilt the innings with a 31-run stand. Rohrer broke the shackles, sweeping Pravin Tambe, who became the oldest debutant in the history of IPL at 41 years and 212 days, for two boundaries before Jayawardene hit the first six of the innings off Siddharth Trivedi with an effortless shot over sweeper cover.
Just like Warner, Jayawardene was a little too early into his flick and failed to avoid the outstretched hand of Dravid at short mid-wicket.
Dravid made smart moves on the field and every time Shaun Tait, the lone Rajasthan bowler who was off the mark today, was wayward he found a replacement to stem the run flow and keep Rajasthan's dominance intact.
Dravid and Rahane carried the flow into the second innings.