At the end of the UAE phase Rajasthan Royals had stood at 3rd position in the leader board and Delhi Daredevils were at the penultimate position. The game between both the sides at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on May 3 showed exactly why this was the case.
Team composition: Both the teams made changes to the teams that contested in the previous match. Delhi brought in pacer Rahul Sharma for allrounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Rajasthan got in seam bowling allrounder Dhawal Kulkarni instead of spin bowling allrounder Iqbal Abdulla.
Batting: RR won the toss and put DD in. DD got to 152 for the loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs and much of the credit in this case can be given to Quinton de Kock who scored 42 from 33 balls and JP Duminy who got 39 from 31 balls down the order. The failure of the other batsmen, including skipper Kevin Pietersen, meant that DD was unable to get to a bigger score that would have given their bowlers more comfort in the end.
Chasing a decent total, RR got home in 18.3 overs thanks, largely, to Karun Nair who scored 73 from 50 balls. Sanju Samson also gave him some good company and their 51 run stand for the 2nd wicket was instrument in the visitors’ win.
Bowling: Once again, the veteran leg spinner Pravin Tambe was the best bowler on show for the Royals with 2 for 25. James Faulkner was also admirable with a spell of 2 for 26 and Kane Richardson picked up 1 for 39 in his quota of overs. The supporting cast – Dhawal Kulkarni and Rajat Bhatia – were economical as well and this made sure that the Daredevils were restricted to a manageable total in the end.
For the Daredevils, Mohammad Shami was the best bowler on view with 1 for 22, Shahbaz Nadeem (1 for 30) and Wayne Parnell (1 for 35) tried well but the lack of support from Jaydev Unadkat and Rahul Sharma, who leaked a lot of runs, meant that their efforts went in vain.
Where do the teams go from here?
Rajasthan Royals look like they would make the playoffs once again. The team has now got accustomed to a style of play where the lesser known cricketers are making greater contributions than the major stars and this is a happy situation for any captain to be in. Shane Watson has so far been content to let others hog the limelight, much like his predecessor Rahul Dravid, but he should be prepared to play a bigger role as and when the situation demands.
Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, would be really worried at the way the tournament has turned out so far for the team. What is even more worrying is that the team does not have sufficient quality in the bench to change the present eleven and has to wait for these players to come good. Till then, it will be hard for them to get out of the mire that they find themselves in.