IPL 2013: Rajasthan Royals register comprehensive win at home
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There was no fuss despite a slow start as Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane laid a solid platform with a 108-run stand. The duo didn't hit any six, and were happy to rotate the strike in the middle. Dravid departed after scoring his fourth fifty of the tournament, but did all the hard work.
Delhi did get some momentum towards the end of their batting with Ben Rohrer's fifty, but this is turning out to be the tournament where nothing is going their way. The visitors were tight with the ball and didn't give much scoring options. Credit must go to Rajasthan's openers, as the duo didn't panic and maintained their unbeaten run at home.
The way they operated proved that T20 is not all about big hits. There is a lot of scope for classical players to excel, and what example better than Dravid.
The right-hander didn't play a rash shot, kept the scoreboard ticking, and played some brilliant cover drives to give the total a risk-free push. Rahane, too, matched his skipper in the approach as the duo made life difficult for the Delhi bowlers, who were not able to sneak a wicket.
In the end, the opening stand did most of the damage, and Shane Watson played scored a quick-fire 28 (not out) to help his side home with 13 balls to spare.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the struggling Delhi unit. Despite giving their team a toss with six changes, results didn't change one bit. It was another top order failure, lack of spin in the middle, and dipping shoulders.
After winning the toss, they were listless with the bat, and the top-order collapsed to reduce the side to 47/3. Mahela Jayawardene did show some resilience, but couldn't carry on, and left his side at 78/4.
What followed next was the biggest positive from this match- Ben Rohrer's roar to form. The left-hander, after a string of poor performances, came to party with a well-struck 64 (not out), and along with Kedar Jadhav (23 not out), propelled the total to a competitive 154/4.
Even the home side didn't get their team changes right as Shun Tait leaked too many runs in the three overs he bowled. The quick was all over the place, and bowled terrible lines. His pace was not much of threat with such lines, and the Delhi batsmen scored 39 from his overs. Pravin Tambe's debut at 41 was not convincing either, and the leg-spinner went wicket-less in the fixture.
The win today takes Rajasthan one step close to the magical number of nine wins, and Delhi continue to occupy the bottom half of the table.
SR Watson, AM Rahane, R Dravid(c), SV Samson(wk), STR Binny, BJ Hodge, Sachin Baby, JP Faulkner, SK Trivedi, P Tambe, SW Tait