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Dominating Delhi Beat Royals, Go Atop

Dubai:  Continuing with their stellar show, Delhi Capitals (DC) on Wednesday again reclaimed the top spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) standings as they registered a 13-run win over a off-colour Rajasthan Royals (RR). DC’s win became sweeter as fast bowler Anrich Nortje bowled the fastest ball of the tournament history.

This was Delhi’s sixth win from eight games (12 points) while RR’s fifth defeat of the season (6 from 8).

Opting to bat after winning the toss, DC put a decent 161/7 wickets on board, thanks to couple of half-centuries by Shikhar Dhawan (57) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (53). Later, the DC bowlers once again replicated their previous shows as they yet again bowled some economical spells besides getting breakthroughs at regular intervals.

Ultimately, RR succumbed before the DC bowlers, managing 148/8 wickets in the allotted overs to lose the affair by 13 runs.

Chasing the target, RR was off to a decent start as Ben Stokes (41) and Jos Buttler (22) added 21 runs in the initial two overs.

Buttler then clobbered Anrich Nortje (2/33) for a six and three boundaries. However, it was the South African quick who had the last laugh.

Nortje castled Buttler’s stump in the final ball of the third over, leaving RR at 37/1.

Ravichandran Ashwin (1/17) then further jolted RR when he dismissed incoming batter and RR skipper Steven Smith (1) in the next over.

Stokes and Sanju Samson then anchored the RR innings with a 46-run stand for the third wicket before Tushar Deshpande got rid of the former in the 11th over.

Samson, too, departed soon, courtesy Axar Patel as RR found them reeling at 97/4 wickets in 11.4 overs.

Robin Uthappa (32) and Rahul Tewatia (14) tried their best to keep RR in the chase. However, the former fell to Nortje. On the other hand, Tewatia failed to explode, taking 18 balls for his unbeaten 14.

As a result, RR could only manage 148/8 wickets in their given quota and suffered their fifth defeat of the season.

For DC, Nortje and Deshpande picked two wickets each while Kagiso Rabada, Ashwin and Axar settled with one wicket each.

Earlier, opting to bat, couple of half-centuries by opener Shikhar Dhawan (57) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (53) powered DC to a respectable 161/7 wickets.

After losing opener Prithvi Shaw (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (2), Dhawan and Iyer took control of the proceedings. Both the DC batters became a victim of Jofra Archer.

The Dhawan and Iyer pair then repaired the early damage with an 85-run partnership for the third wicket before the former fell in the 12th over, thanks to Shreyas Gopal (1/31).

Iyer was packed back by Kartik Tyagi (1/30) in the 16th over before Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey chipped in with 18 and 14 runs respectively to help DC manage a fighting total.

For RR, Archer starred with figures of 3/19 while Jaydev Unadkat picked two for 32 runs.

Brief scores: DC: 161/7 wkts in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 57, Shreyas Iyer 53; Jofra Archer 3/19) beat RR 148/8 wkts in 20 overs (Ben Stokes 41, Robin Uthappa 32; Anrich Nortje 2/33) by 13 runs

(IANS/GloFans)

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