Parag and Chahal give RR a two-for-two.

Parag and Chahal give RR a two-for-two.

In a close match, the Rajasthan Royals defeated the tenacious Delhi Capitals thanks to a strong bowling effort that supported Riyan Parag’s valiant batting performance. In their second IPL 2024 match, Rishabh Pant’s team was dealt yet another cruel blow, but the Royals secured their second straight victory.

A stuttering royal

Early on, the Sawai Man Singh Stadium ground did not present the optimum opportunity for strokeplay. The batters had to work at it for a while before they could get used to the minor slowness. Delhi Capitals were able to take advantage of the circumstances as a result. Mukesh Kumar firstly dismissed Yashasvi Jaiswal with a round-the-wicket blow.

Kuldeep quickly trapped Jos Buttler LBW and was self-assured enough to push it through a review. The Royals innings appeared to be coming to an end at 36/3 in the eighth over.

An Ashwin-mandated stimulus

Given the circumstances, Rajasthan took a chance at No. 5 with R Ashwin. They haven’t been afraid to employ this strategy in the past because it gave the big hitters more leeway to express themselves as the innings went on. However, Parag and Ashwin had a clever working partnership, worth 54. In addition to sweeping Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin also pulled off a few clean sweeps against Anrich Nortje.

His 19-ball 29 restarted the innings and provided a launchpad for Parag, who had been cautious with a run-a-ball 26 up until that point.

Parag springs to his feet

Parag had a fantastic sense of how the game was unfolding and what the bowlers were delivering as the innings came to an end. He started to step it up with a string of assured shots. In his last over, Khaleel Ahmed, who had been hitting well up until that point, was dismissed when Parag went 6, 4, 4, despite the pacer’s attempts at wide yorkers. When Mukesh Kumar took a chance and went overboard, Parag quickly reached a fifty.

However, Nortje’s last over of the innings proved to be the cherry on top.

Nortje vs. Parag: 25 in an over

It proved to be an epic takedown as Nortje charged in but was sent flying to the edge just as fast. Although Parag was fortunate to win a match with third man up, he was under pressure from Nortje to use his wide lines to cross the square limits. When it was hammered in short as well, Parag was game for the challenge and pulled him for a couple of sixes. 4, 4, 6, 4, 6, 1 read the last over as Parag stormed to an undefeated 84 and helped RR reach a competitive total.

An unsteady beginning to the pursuit

The Delhi Capitals were in dire need of a strong start to their pursuit, and they got one when an intimidating Mitchell Marsh forced some early boundaries. In his 23 overs, he smashed five fours, but Nandre Burger’s inward delivery soon had him bowled. Burger then got Ricky Bhui to glove a short ball to the wicketkeeper that brought one and two. DC’s chase was at risk of a short circuit at 30/2.

A maintenance task

Now, David Warner and Rishabh Pant, two seasoned players, teamed up and proceeded to play with a combination of caution and intensity. They played a pretty calm 67 off 47 balls together.

Even though it accomplished little to lower the necessary run-rate, it gave them a base from which to conduct a last counterattack. DC got more back-end starts even though Yuzvendra Chahal scored twice and the pair fell quickly after.

Stubbs registers

Trent Boult’s dismissal of R Ashwin off Tristan Stubbs was a stroke of luck. This set him up for a counterattack full of boundary-pushing. A few times, Ashwin was pushed over the fence, but Sandeep Sharma’s slower deliveries were hammered with tremendous force. The final over needed to score 17 runs, as Axar Patel also contributed with a helpful boundary.

At this juncture, Avesh Khan performed his intentions flawlessly and stepped up to bowl a boundary-less over against the well-positioned hitters.

What comes next?

The Delhi Capitals will play the Chennai Super Kings in their adopted city of Vizag on March 31 after a few days off. The Rajasthan Royals go to Mumbai for their first away game of the season the following day.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 173/5 (David Warner 49, Tristan Stubbs 44*; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/19) lost to Rajasthan Royals 185/5 (Riyan Parag 84*) by 12 runs.

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