Rajasthan, Delhi look to get back to winning ways

Today in IPL

Jaipur, April 10: Smarting from a crushing defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening fixture, Rajasthan Royals will look to seek home comfort and register a win when they take on Delhi Daredevils, who lost against Kings XI Punjab, in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash here on Wednesday.
Back at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium after serving a two-year ban, Rajasthan, under spin legend Shane Warne, had nothing going their way against Hyderabad. Royals huffed and puffed to 125/9 after being asked to bat, and then saw Hyderabad canter home with nine wickets in hand.
Sanju Samson was the only shining light for the iugural champions with a watchful 42-ball 49 as star batsman and skipper Ajinkya Rahane fell for 13 and only Rahul Tripathi (17) and Shreyas Gopal (18) maged to reach double figures.
The second wicket did stand for 46 runs while the fourth-wicket stand stitched together 29 off just 13 deliveries. Both the partnerships could have shaped the innings well but failed miserably.
“Getting a good start in the first six overs, that was the key, and we got that,” Rahane had said after the match. “Six overs and we were close to 50 with one wicket down. But we lost crucial wickets in the middle overs.
“I always believed that it was a wicket where one big partnership or (if) one set batsman can bat through the innings that really would’ve helped.”
Hyderabad bowlers proved to be hot for Rajasthan and what made matters worse was how their bowlers meekly surrended in the face of Shikhar Dhawan’s 57-ball 78.
Against Delhi, the hosts will need to improve on every count. What would go in their favour is that their opponents also come into the game having not done well against Kings XI Punjab in their opener.
Newly appointed captain Gautam Gambhir (55) led from the front but lacked support around him. Delhi’s batting is not that strong either with lack of experieneced mes effecting the middle order. Lokesh Rahul’s 16-ball 55 — fastest IPL fifty — made matters worse for them but a cause of worry for Delhi is seamer Mohammed Shami going for a lot of runs as Delhi will want him to deliver alongwith New Zealand pacer Trent Boult.
Delhi will start as favourites against Rajasthan but unlike their first match if the likes of in-form D’Arcy Short, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler or Ben Laughlin fire on the morrow, it could well be Rajasthan’s field day at home as all the players have reputation of turning the game around. IANS