IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals bows out with hammering at Delhi's hands

A comprehensive display from Delhi Capitals knocked out the one-time IPL champion out of playoff contention.

Ishant Sharma set the tone for a five-wicket victory for Delhi Capitals by taking three wickets in his first three overs, removing Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone and Mahipal Lomror.   -  PTI

Despite a spirited half-century from Rajasthan Royals Riyan Parag, an all-round bowling performance from Delhi Capitals helped the side claim the game by five wickets in a one-sided Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Saturday.

Ishant Sharma, the fast bowler, and leg-spinner Amit Mishra, the Man of the Match, took six wickets between them to break the back of Royals.

Chasing a modest target of 116, Capitals romped home in the 17th over with Rishabh Pant (53, 38b, 2X4, 5X6) scoring an enterprising half-century and other batsmen chipping in with short cameos.

Royals' Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi briefly checked the progress of Capitals with two wickets off two balls, in the fourth over.

As it happened

The  Delhi openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw – fell to the Kiwi after having put 28 runs on the board in three overs.

The wickets arrived against the run of play as the openers had struck three boundaries in the previous over, bowled by Oshane Thomas; Dhawan had driven and cut for two fours, and Shaw had played a leg-glance for the third.

The wickets were taken in what turned out to be a maiden over from Sodhi, but his threat was nullified soon after, as Shreyas struck two nonchalant sixes down the ground when Sodhi came on to bowl his next over.

From then, Capitals calmly moved towards its target.

Pant managed a few big hits as well, including two sixes to midwicket off Parag, a six to fine-leg off fast bowler Varun Aaron, a six down the ground off Shreyas Gopal, the leg-spinner, and another six down the ground – off Sodhi - to finish the contest.

Although the going was smooth for the home side, there was a hiccup or two in terms of wickets.

Sodhi had taken his third wicket towards the end; Colin Ingram, trying to sweep, got a top-edge and was caught at short-leg.

Sherfane Rutherford, the No. 6, perished trying to slog Gopal to cow corner after having struck a six through square-leg on the previous delivery.

Royals found no rhythm or momentum in its innings after choosing to bat as Ishant and Mishra – with three wickets each - ran through the top half of the Delhi batting line-up.

Wickets tumbled one after the other and at 65 for 7 in the 14th over, the innings looked effectively over; it took a spirited revival engineered by Parag (50, 49b, 4X4, 2X6) to have Royals last the entire quota of overs.

The 17-year-old Parag was mature in his handling of the situation as he shepherded the innings and sheltered the lower-order batsmen, preventing the innings from folding up quickly.

Having arrived to bat in the sixth over, Parag was unhurried as wickets fell around him.

It was in the 17th over that he pressed the accelerator, unleashing the pull stroke and the lofted off-drive to collect two fours off Ishant.

It was an expensive return to the bowling crease for Ishant; after his early exploits – three wickets for 20 runs in three overs – he gave away 18 runs.

It included five runs collected off two wide deliveries – the deliveries couldn’t be collected cleanly down the leg side by wicketkeeper Pant – besides two singles and a double.

Parag added a couple of sixes in the final over – bowled by Trent Boult - to take the total past 100. Off two length balls from the Kiwi seamer, Parag slogged sixes to long-off and cow corner.

Attempting another big hit, he got out on the final ball of the innings, caught by the long-off fielder.

His efforts served as useful repair-work after Mishra had scythed through the middle-order, dismissing Shreyas Gopal, Stuart Binny and K. Gowtham in quick succession.

Gopal was the first to go, in the 12th over; he was stumped by Pant after he ran down the track and couldn’t put bat to a ball that pitched on a good length and turned sharply away from him.

Mishra followed this with a delivery – a likely attempted googly – that pitched on a full length and went on straight; perhaps anticipating turn, Binny got a thick edge and was caught behind.

Gowtham, the next man in, attempted a slog-sweep on the next delivery and got a top-edge; Boult judged the catch poorly near the bowler’s end and made a mess of what looked a simple catching opportunity.

It would have given Mishra the hat-trick.

Mishra, however, didn’t have to wait too long to get his third. In Mishra’s next over – the 14th of the innings – Gowtham slogged a ball straight to the long-off fielder.

It left Ish Sodhi and Varun Aaron – the No. 9 and No. 10 – to ensure support to Parag as he salvaged whatever was left of the ruins.

The rot had begun in the PowerPlay itself.

In the second over of the innings bowled by Ishant, Ajinkya Rahane, the captain, failed to get hold of an attempted flick and was caught by the fine-leg fielder. Rahane’s opening partner – Liam Livingstone – perished not long after; he struck a four and a six in his short stay at the crease before being dismissed bowled by Ishant. Livingstone attempted a hoick across the line and the ball snuck through.

Sanju Samson, the No. 3, was run-out. He pushed a delivery to cover and ran for a single; his partner, Mahipal Lomror, hesitated initially before sending him back. It was too late.

When Lomror himself got out – swinging his arms to a delivery bowled outside the off-stump by Ishant, and managing an edge through to the wicketkeeper – Royals had lost its fourth.

From then onwards, it was a hard uphill task for the side – a task that proved too much eventually.