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Talking points from Delhi's second win over Rajasthan

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Delhi completed a double over Rajasthan on Wednesday, this time defeating the 2008 Indian T20 League winners by 13 runs in what as a sheer nerve-wreaking contest at the Dubai International Stadium.

Delhi, who won the toss and elected to bat, put 161/7 on board in 20 overs, riding on the back of half-centuries by opener Shikhar Dhawan and captain Shreyas Iyer. Rajasthan, on their part, had a thumping start with the bat but failed to keep the momentum going, losing wickets in crumbs while also failing to deal with the asking run rate.

The win takes Delhi back on the top of the Indian T20 League table, and this is what we learned from the entertaining game:

Dhawan getting into the groove

The last time these two sides met earlier in the season, Dhawan scored a mere five runs off four deliveries. But having arrived into tonight’s game on the back of an unbeaten half-century against Mumbai, the Delhi opener was uncluttered in his approach. Despite losing Prithvi Shaw in the very first delivery, Dhawan went on to score what was his 39th Indian T20 League half-century, his second of the ongoing tournament and sixth against Rajasthan.

Player

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

100

50

50+

DA Warner

134

134

17

4990

4

46

50

V Kohli

184

176

29

5668

5

38

43

AB de Villiers

161

149

35

4623

3

36

39

SK Raina

193

189

28

5368

1

38

39

RG Sharma

195

190

28

5114

1

38

39

S Dhawan

167

166

23

4830*

0

39

39

Table: Most 50+ scores in Indian T20 League

With Rishabh Pant absent, Dhawan has upped the ante in his last couple of innings to keep the higher run-rate ticking. On Wednesday, he scored his 39th 50+ score of the Indian T20 League, which is the joint third-highest in the league’s history alongside AB de Villiers, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma. Dhawan’s knock of 57 off 33 balls included six fours and a couple of sixes, with the majority of his runs coming at mid-wicket (24) and covers (10). His dismissal, however, showed a bit of pattern as this was the fourth time in his seven dismissals this season that he was caught out by a leg-spinner.

  • Piyush Chawla vs Chennai
  • Rashid Khan vs Hyderabad
  • Varun Chakravarthy vs Kolkata
  • Shreyas Gopal vs Rajasthan 

Archer a menace for Delhi

As mentioned, Delhi and Rajasthan have already crossed paths this season, and the while the one-time Indian T20 League winners were thwarted in the first game, a certain Jofra Archer had something to rejoice as he finished with a figure of 3/24 in his four overs, dismissing both of Delhi’s openers and Harshal Patel. On Wednesday, he got the better of Prithvi Shaw once again, this time with an absolute blinder in the very first delivery. He went on to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane within the powerplay overs to halt Delhi’s run-rate.

Bought back into the attack in the 17th over, the England pacer was hit for a six, but he made up for the loss by dismissing a dangerous Marcus Stoinis in the subsequent over to finish with a figure of 3/19. It was not only his sixth three-wicket haul in the Indian T20 League but was also his second-best spell in the league.

Wkts Runs Opp Venue Year
3 15 Punjab Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium 2019
3 19 Delhi Dubai (D.S.C) 2020
3 22 Mumbai Sawai Mansingh Stadium 2018
3 24 Delhi Sharjah Cricket Stadium 2020
3 26 Hyderabad Sawai Mansingh Stadium 2018

Table: Top five spells by Jofra Archer in Indian T20 League

Captain Smith needs to step up

After Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes had given Rajasthan a thumping start, the onus came on captain Steve Smith to constantly put runs on the board, while allowing the England all-rounder to go big. Contrary to what was expected, Smith departed after scoring a solitary run in four deliveries, registering his fifth single-digit score of the season. Bowling out against Ravichandran Ashwin means it was the first time that the Rajasthan captain was dismissed by a spinner in the ongoing edition.

Runs Opposition Ground Match Date
1 v Delhi Dubai (DSC) 14-Oct-20
5 v Hyderabad Dubai (DSC) 11-Oct-20
24 v Delhi Sharjah 09-Oct-20
6 v Mumbai Abu Dhabi 06-Oct-20
5 v Bangalore Abu Dhabi 03-Oct-20
3 v Kolkata Dubai (DSC) 30-Sep-20
50 v Punjab Sharjah 27-Sep-20
69 v Chennai Sharjah 22-Sep-20

Table: Steve Smith in Indian T20 League 2020

The reliable Australian got off to a blistering start, scoring back to back half-centuries against Chennai and Punjab in his first two games of the tournament, but he is yet to do anything positive since. A score of 24 against Delhi the last time these teams met remains his highest return since his 50 against Punjab on September 27. The arrival of Ben Stokes has rightly pushed Rajasthan a bit, but the captain himself needs to do the talking if they are to replicate anything near to what they did in 2008.

Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IndianT20League

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