Nortje sends rampant Delhi on top as Rajasthan stutter in chase - GulfToday

Nortje sends rampant Delhi on top as Rajasthan stutter in chase

Delhi Capitals

DC’s players celebrate fall of Robin Uthappa during their IPL match on Wednesday. Courtesy: Twitter

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Anrich Nortje took two wickets after Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer smashed fifties as a rampant Delhi Capitals (DC) beat an underwhelming Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 13 runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Dubai on Wednesday.

Delhi posted a fighting total of 161/7 and restricted Rajasthan to 148/8 to go on the top of the standings with 12 points from eight games.

Rajasthan were off to decent start in their chase as the openers Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler added 37 runs for the first wicket in three overs.

Buttler played a cameo of 22 runs off just nine deliveries, hitting two fours and one six before being dismissed by South African pacer Nortje. Steve Smith was caught by Ravichandran Ashwin off his own bowling, leaving Rajasthan in a quagmire.

Sanju Smason and Stokes added 47 runs for the third wicket to keep Rajasthan in hunt before the latter holed out Lalit Yadav off Tushar Deshpande.

Robin Uthappa (38) and Rahul Tewatia waged the lone battle for a brief time as Nortje struck again to get rid of Rajasthan’s vice-captain. Rajasthan failed to get the partnership going and kept on losing the wickets. They needed 22 runs off the last over. Tewatia hit the ball to the boundary ropes but Rahane caught it and threw the ball back before stepping over the ropes. Shreyas Gopal did not respond to Tewatia’s call and took just a single to take strike in his hands.

After that Rajasthan had no chance as Tewatia needed to hit three sixes off the last four balls to restore the parity and take the match into Super Over. Rajasthan lost the match by 13 runs eventually.

Earlier, Archer ripped through the top order to push Delhi on the back foot from the beginning. Opener Prithvi Shaw (0) was dismissed for a golden duck as the English all-rounder uprooted his stumps off the first delivery of the match. He heaped more misery on the reeling Delhi by getting rid of Ambati Rayudu to make it 10-2 in three overs. He had the right-handed batsman caught by Uthappa.

Dhawan and captain Iyer added 85 runs for the third wicket to anchor the faltering innings and pull Delhi out of the rot. Both played sensibly and kept scoreboard ticking. Dhawan was in brutal mood. He took the pressure off by hitting Karthik Tyagi for a six in the fourth over.

After that there was no stopping for the explosive left-hander as he hit Archer for two boundaries in the next over. He brought up his second fifty of the season with a single off only 30 balls. Iyer was playing a perfect foil by being a dormant partner on the other end. Dhawan’s innings was studded with six boundaries and two sixes, before Shreyas Gopal sent him back to pavilion by getting him caught by Tyagi. After the departure of the left-hander, Iyer took the charge in his hands. He changed his gears raced to his fifty with six off Unadkat.

The Delhi captain failed to capitalize on the reprieve and holed it out to Archer off Tyagi after adding just one run to be dismissed for 53.

After the dismissal of Iyer, Delhi kept on losing the wicket at regular intervals and managed to muster 161/7 in their allotted overs. Archer was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with a figure of 3-19.

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