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IPL-2024: Rajasthan Royals beat DC by 12 runs in Jaipur: Chahal, Riyan Parag’s heroics RR wins two in two in a row

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In a see-saw encounter, Rajasthan Royals prevailed over a fighting Delhi Capitals after a collective bowling effort backed up Riyan Parag’s heroics with the bat. It gave Royals their second win on the trot, while Rishabh Pant’s men were condemned with another bitter pill to swallow in their second outing of IPL 2024.The pitch at the Sawai Man Singh stadium did not offer the best chance for strokeplay early on. It required the batters spending some time on it to adjust to the slight slowness available.

This allowed Delhi Capitals to exploit the conditions to their advantage. First up, Mukesh Kumar castled Yashasvi Jaiswal from round the wicket. Sanju Samson could not have an impact either as Khaleel Ahmed had him caught behind from round the wicket. Soon after, Jos Buttler was trapped LBW by Kuldeep, who was confident enough to push it through a review. At 36/3, in the 8th over the Royals innings was seemingly going nowhere.

The situation called for some nous and Rajasthan gambled with R Ashwin at No. 5. They’ve not been shy to use such a tactic before as it allowed the big-hitters to come down the innings with more license to break free. But Parag and Ashwin were smart together in stitching a neat partnership worth 54. Ashwin was not averse to sweeping Kuldeep Yadav and even managed a couple of neat pulls against Anrich Nortje. His 19-ball 29 put the innings back on course and gave Parag, who had been circumspect until then with a run-a-ball 26, a springboard to launch ahead.

As the innings drew towards a close, Parag had a great sense of how it was playing and what the bowlers were offering. He began to unleash a series of confident shots to up the ante. First Khaleel Ahmed, who had been on the mark up until then, was taken down in his final over as Parag went 6, 4, 4 as the pacer attempted wide yorkers. Mukesh Kumar erred on the fuller side and was promptly put away as Parag raced to a fifty. But the icing on the cake came in the final over of the innings bowled by Nortje.

It turned out to be a takedown for the ages as Nortje steamed in quick but was dispatched to the boundary as quickly. Parag was lucky that he edged a couple with third man up, but the risk was on as Nortje challenged him to clear the square boundaries with his wide lines. Parag was up for that challenge when it was banged in short as well and pulled him for a couple of sixes. The final over read 4, 4, 6 , 4 , 6, 1 as Parag raced away to an unbeaten 84 and propelled RR to a competitive total.

Delhi Capitals were desperate for a good start to the chase and they found that with an imposing Mitchell Marsh muscling some early boundaries. He hit five fours in his 23 but was soon bowled by an chopping on an incoming delivery from Nandre Burger. One brought two as Burger then had Ricky Bhui gloving a sharp short ball to the wicket-keeper.

At 30/2, DC’s chase was in danger of a short circuit.The experienced pair of David Warner and Rishabh Pant now joined hands as they set about playing with a mixture of caution and aggression. Together they put on a rather patient 67 off 47 balls. While it did not do much in terms of taking the required run-rate down, it allowed them a base to launch a final counterattack from. Even as the duo fell in quick succession, and Yuzvendra Chahal struck twice, DC found more starts at the back-end.

Tristan Stubbs had a moment of luck when he was put down by Trent Boult off R Ashwin. This put him on course for a boundary-filled counterattack. Ashwin was put over the fence a couple of times, while Sandeep Sharma’s slower balls were clobbered with immense power. As Axar Patel too chipped in with a useful boundary, the equation tapered down to 17 needed off the final over. At this point, Avesh Khan stepped up to bowl a boundary-less over against the well-set batters as he executed his plans to perfection.

Delhi Capitals have a couple of days gap before they take on Chennai Super Kings in their adopted home of Vizag on March 31. The following day, Rajasthan Royals play their first away game of the season as they travel to Mumbai.

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

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