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Cricket news - Unadkat fires Royals to maiden win on return

Jaydev Unadkat picked three wickets in the powerplay, triggering Delhi Capitals' batting collapse

Jaydev Unadkat picked three wickets in the powerplay, triggering Delhi Capitals' batting collapse

A stunning, unbeaten 36 from IPL's highest paid player Chris Morris helped Rajasthan Royals get over the line in the final over, chasing 146, and giving them their first win of the tournament.

Wait, why did Delhi Capitals get just 146?

That was due to the brilliance of Jaydev Unadkat (coming in for Shreyas Gopal) upfront. Having opted to bowl, Unadkat struck thrice in three overs upfront. He was helped adequately by a pitch that was slightly sticky in the initial period. Unadkat was also well supported by the other pacers in the team, who stuck to very specific plans that turned out to be successful for them.

What were those plans that downed DC?

Mainly it was about taking pace off the ball. Unadkat got the in-form Prithvi Shaw to get a leading edge off one such cutter to point. He then saw Sanju Samson pulling off an incredible catch to a mistimed lap from Shikhar Dhawan. While the hat-trick was averted by Pant, Unadkat managed to get Ainkya Rahane caught and bowled, having got him in a knot with a deceptive slower one. Mustafizur Rahman, with a nearly unpickable whippy wrist similarly had Marcus Stoinis caught in the circle leaving Delhi at an unflattering 37-4 in the 7th over. Unadkat with figures of 4-0-15-3, had got his team well on top.

So how did Delhi fight back?

Through their skipper Rishabh Pant, who managed to put on a lone fight with a half-century. Pant was rather watchful from the start, and played a mature hand by picking the right bowlers to target. A 20-run over off Rahul Tewatia proved to be the biggest gain for Pant as he threatened to pull things back for DC. However. his innings was cut short by a piece of fielding brilliance from Riyan Parag, who stopped him from stealing a quick single off his own bowling and him run out with a direct hit for 51. With some handy contributions from Lalit Yadav, Tom Curran and Chris Woakes late in the innings, DC managed to finish with a respectable but far from par score.

Why did Rajasthan struggle to chase it then?

That was because of some smart bowling from Delhi, who did not always resort to the slower ones that had worked for Rajasthan. Instead, Woakes and Kagiso Rabada found the seam-up deliveries a lot more successful. The duo got rid of Manan Vohra, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson inside the first four overs and reduced Rajasthan to 17 for 3. Coming in after them was Avesh Khan, who kept up the good work and accounted for Shivam Dube (caught at slip) and Riyan Parag (with a slower one) which added to the pressure on Rajasthan Royals.

How did the Royals get out of this hole?

Like Pant for Delhi, the middle order was shored up by David Miller (who came in for the injured Ben Stokes) who remained watchful too but crucially managed to switch gears as the asking rate began to climb. He was the first batsman in the match to hit a six, when he managed to swing Avesh Khan over the fence a couple of times in the 16th over of the chase. But Khan got one back, having him caught at long-on going for a hat-trick of sixes.

So what about the finish?

With 43 needed off the final four overs, Rajasthan were not out of the equation but had only Chris Morris to deliver the big hits. Luckily enough, Unadkat managed to swing one off Wokaes over the boundary easing the pressure on Morris. Picking the slower ones at will, Morris managed to turn on the heat in the final couple of overs bowled by Kagiso Rabada and Tom Curran, and hit four sixes in all to take the Royals over the line with a couple of balls to spare.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 147/8 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 51; Jaydev Unadkat 3-15) lost to Rajasthan Royals 150/7 in 19.4 overs (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*; Avesh Khan 3-32) by 3 wickets

Where do they go next?

After a couple of days, Delhi Capitals will play their last game in Mumbai for this season when they take on Punjab Kings on Sunday, while Rajasthan Royals will take on Chennai Super Kings on the same ground on Monday.