IPL 2023: Buttler, Jaiswal and Boult hand Delhi Capitals a drubbing
Rajasthan Royals hand DC their third loss this IPL after robust half-centuries by the openers followed by the NZ pacer’s double strikes in the first over
The gulf in quality between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals in their IPL clash in Guwahati on Saturday was encapsulated in the opening over of the two innings. While Rajasthan — playing their second home game in the city — began by smashing five fours to reach 20/0, Capitals lost two wickets to Trent Boult without a run on the board.
In the end, Delhi’s 61-run defeat -- it was their third straight loss this season -- was along expected lines. Jos Buttler (79 - 51b), Yashasvi Jaiswal (60 - 31b) and Boult (4-1-29-3) were the chief architects of Rajasthan’s commanding win. In response to Rajasthan’s total of 199/4, Delhi finished on 142/9 with skipper David Warner contributing 65. That he consumed 55 balls shows he is yet to find his timing.
The tone for the Rajasthan innings was set by Jaiswal smashing left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed for five fours in the first over. The left-handed batter hardly spared any part of the outfield, his range of shots comprising the pull, cut, cover drive and on-drive.
Given the sparkling start, the pressure was straightaway on the Delhi bowling unit. Fast bowler Anrich Nortje tried to bring a semblance of control but was taken for three fours by Buttler in the second over.
Jaiswal took a special liking to Khaleel and Axar Patel. When Khaleel returned from the other end for the fourth over of the innings, Jaiswal greeted him with a slash past point for four. The 50-run opening stand came in just four overs and RR were 68/0 at the end of the powerplay.
Delhi brought in Axar after four overs hoping perhaps spin could restrict Jaiswal. The Mumbai youngster though maintained his scoring rate, hitting three fours off the left-arm spinner's opening over.
Jaiswal took just 25 deliveries to reach his half-century. He looked in prime position for many more runs, but a miscued pull in the ninth over resulted in a simple return catch to Mukesh Kumar.
Skipper Sanju Samson fell in the next over. It led to a lull in the scoring rate as no four or six came off the next 22 balls. Buttler ended that streak with a pull for six against Axar, also bringing up his fifty in 32 balls.
Buttler went on to add 49 runs for the fourth wicket with Shimron Hetmyer. Buttler brought out his hoicks and scoops in the final phase of the innings, allowing the Delhi bowlers little margin for error. When Buttler was eventually dismissed in the 19th over, Hetmyer took the lead with two sixes against Nortje in the final over.
Delhi’s effort with the bat started on the worst possible note. Prithvi Shaw, brought on as an Impact Player to open, was caught behind by a diving Samson for duck the third ball and Manish Pandey was trapped in front by a trademark Boult inswinger the next delivery.
From thereon, a defeat for Delhi was a near foregone conclusion. While Lalit Yadav showed spunk with a 24-ball 38 in a 64-run stand with Warner, it was never going to be enough. Among the multitude of problems Delhi face, the lack of spark in the batting unit has been most concerning.
Warner scored his second half-century in three matches, but he isn't stamping his imprint on games like he can. Perhaps the frequent loss of wickets at the other end has also affected Warner's mindset, knowing that he cannot afford to get out early when contributions are scant from the others.