Delhi Capitals crushed Rajasthan Royals’ playoff hopes with a convincing five-wicket victory to finish off their league campaign in the Indian Premier League.
Already through to the playoffs, Delhi Capitals first rode on veterans Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra’s superb efforts with the ball to restrict Rajasthan Royals to 115/9 and then chased down the target in 16.1 overs, with Rishabh Pant remaining unbeaten on a 38-ball 53.
The win took Delhi to the second spot in the standings with 18 points from 14 games but to finish as second-best, the Capitals would need Mumbai Indians to lose against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
A win for Mumbai would drop Delhi to the third spot as the latter have an inferior net run-rate. Rajasthan are out of the tournament, finishing with just 11 points from 14 games.
Chasing a modest target, Delhi made a quick start through Shikhar Dhawan (16) and Prithvi Shaw (8) before Ish Sodhi (3/26) removed both the openers in consecutive balls.
Sodhi first got rid of Dhawan in the second ball of the fourth over and then Shaw played in the next delivery.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer (15 off 9) and Rishabh then added 33 runs off 25 balls for the third wicket before the former holed out to Liam Livingstone off Shreyas Gopal.
While Delhi lost two more wickets in Colin Ingram (12) and Sherfane Rutherford (11), Rishabh carried his bat and finished off the chase by hitting Sodhi for a big six over long-leg to bring up his fifty. Pant’s unbeaten knock was studded with two fours and five hits over the fence.
Earlier, Ishant (3/38) did the early damage before leg-spinner Mishra (3/17) came to the party to rock Rajasthan’s innings. Young Parag (50 off 49, 4x4s, 2x6s) was the lone bright spot for Rajasthan as he held fort and notched up his first IPL fifty. At 17, he also became the youngest to get to the landmark.
Rajasthan had a disastrous start to their innings after opting to bat as they were reduced to 30/4 at the end of the first six overs of powerplay with Ishant doing bulk of the damage.
Ishant struck in the second over, removing Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane (2) and then came back an over later to clean up Livingstone (14). To make matters worse for the visitors, in-form Sanju Samson (5) fell after a mix up with Mahipal Lomror in the next over.
Lomror (8) didn’t help his cause either as he handed Ishant his third wicket of the day, nicking one to Pant behind the stumps. Parag and Gopal tried to stabilise the innings with a 27-run fifth-wicket stand before Mishra picked up two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the 12th over to disturb Rajasthan’s resistance.
Mishra first foxed Gopal (12) to be stumped by Pant and then induced a faint edge off new man Stuart Binny. This gave Mishra a chance for registering a hat-trick.
The leg-spinner was well on course but Trent Boult dropped a sitter at long-off to hand Krishnappa Gowtham a life. However, Mishra got his man an over later as Gowatham gave a straight-forward catch to Ishant at long-off and Rajasthan slumped to 65/7.
Parag threw caution to the wind late in his innings and hammered Ishant for two fours to pick up 18 runs off the 17th over, and then went on to smash Boult for two sixes in the final over. The Assam teenager perished in the last ball of the innings.