IPL 2013: Dravid Leads Royals To Tight Win

Dravid Leads Royals To Tight Win
Dravid Leads Royals To Tight Win
©REUTERS / Action Images

Rajasthan Royals 165-7 (Dravid 65) beat
Delhi Daredevils 160-6 (Cooper 3-30) by 5 runs
Indian Premier League 2013, Delhi
Report by Chetan Narula

In a tight chase, Rajasthan Royals beat Delhi Daredevils by five runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. It meant that the Royals started their 2013 IPL campaign with a win, but the Daredevils have now lost both their first two matches. 

Chasing 166 for victory, Delhi started off nicely as Unmukt Chand and David Warner put on 39 runs for the first wicket. Chand was bowled again - twice in two matches - though this time he scored 23 runs. Mahela Jayawardene (19) and Manprit Juneja (20) got off to starts, putting together 43 and 67 runs for the second and third wickets respectively. But they fell at opportune moments for Rajasthan. 

Jayawardene fell to a stunning catch from Rahane at point and another great bit of fielding from Brad Hodge got rid of Warner, who was going great guns at 77 off 56 balls, including nine fours and one six. It turned out to be a turning point as the Daredevils’ middle-order choked under pressure and fell short of the target in sight. Andre Russell (7) and Johan Botha (2) were snapped up by Kevon Cooper, as also Juneja earlier, and he finished with an impressive three for 30 from his four overs. S Sreesanth (1-18) and Rahul Shukla (1-27) were the other wicket-takers. 

Earlier in the day, Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat first. Kushal Perera, making his IPL debut, opened the innings with Ajinkya Rahane. The duo put on 22 runs for the first wicket before Perera (14) miscued one. He had been hitting out, apparently under orders to give the Royals a rousing start. It brought Rahul Dravid to the crease, batting at his favourite number three. 

And he put on a 55-run partnership with Rahane, as they rotated the strike well, not taking any risks for long. It meant that at the end of nine overs, Rajasthan were placed at 65 for one, a stable start but the need to accelerate was apparent. And after the strategic break, Rahane stepped on the accelerator, moving swiftly to 28 off 24 balls, inclusive of three fours. In a bid to force the pace he was out caught to Shahbaz Nadeem, a simple return catch ending his innings. 

Dravid then built another 55-run partnership with Stuart Binny who was living dangerously from the very beginning. He helped push the pace for the visitors smacking 40 runs off only 20 deliveries, with two fours and three sixes. Dravid, at the other end, completed his half-century after a scratchy start. 

Binny was the first to go, bowled by Umesh Yadav (4-24), as a flurry of late wickets meant that Rajasthan weren’t able to cross the 180-run mark. Dravid was top-scored with 65 runs, from 51 balls, inclusive of six fours and two cracking sixes. Brad Hodge (5), Kevon Cooper (2) and Ashok Menaria (1) fell in quick succession, as the Royals finished at 165 for seven in their allotted twenty overs. Ashish Nehra finished with two for 35 from his four overs, while Nadeem took one for 22.

© Cricket World 2013

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