Mitchell Marsh takes Delhi to crucial win over Rajasthan
There was no collapse or blowing apart of the batting line-up as Delhi Capitals remained stubborn in their pursuit of victory. Mitchell Marsh and David Warner made it a one-sided contest as Capitals easily chased down 161, registering an eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.
In full bloom, it was an all-round show by Marsh who first returned figures of 3-0-25-2 before excelling with the bat to bring his first half-century of the IPL. En route his 89 off 62 balls, Marsh was accompanied by Warner (52 not out off 41 balls), who, for a change, played second fiddle. The Aussie duo stitched a 144-run partnership.
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The win takes Capitals to 12 points, giving a big boost to their playoff chances. Royals, despite appearing to be a strong contender, now find themselves dependent on the result of their remaining two matches. From missed opportunities to dropped catches and luck evading Royals, nothing went in their favour.
It is at this stage of the tournament that Royals need their skipper Sanju Samson to lead from the front. But the wait is only getting longer. Earlier, in the face of quality bowling by Capitals seamers – Chetan Sakariya, Anrich Nortje, Mitchell Marsh and Shardul Thakur – Ravichandran Ashwin did not muck up and instead responded with clarity of mind.
Not a recognised batter in the T20s, Ashwin’s 50 off 38 balls while batting at one down is proof enough of his versatility. At 35, the off-spinner continues to experiment, innovate and upgrade himself to add value to the team. He along with Devdutt Padikkal (48 off 30 balls) took Royals to a competitive total of 160/6, but that proved insufficient in the end.
It was a day off for Jos Buttler and after his dismissal in the third over, Samson promoted Ashwin to score some quick runs, a ploy tried by the Royals in a couple of previous games as well. But, it was on Wednesday night that Ashwin proved most effective batting at No. 3, while the genuine batters took a back seat.
Though Royals openers Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal (19 off 19 balls) were kept in check, Ashwin refused to get intimidated before Padikkal upped the ante. Courtesy his bold approach, Royals could manage 43/1 in the Powerplay.
Sakariya, who came in place of injured Khaleel Ahmed, gave Capitals an immediate edge in the game after gobbling up the prized wicket of Buttler. While the England batter was taking his usual time to settle down, the late inward movement cramped him and he gave an easy catch at mid-on to Thakur.
Coming out to bat at No. 5, Samson (6 off 4 balls) too floundered under pressure. In an attempt to up the strike rate, he went for a lofted shot, but miscued it and holed out to mid-wicket.