But standing in their way are Delhi Capitals, who have been in good form and look on course to make it to the playoffs, currently sitting in third position. It’s a good thing that history won’t matter, as Delhi have lost four of their last five encounters against Rajasthan Royals.
We take a look at the sequence of events during the last five times Delhi clashed against the Royals in the IPL
May 2nd 2018, Delhi Daredevils won by 4 runs (D/L method)
A match where rain played spoilsport, Delhi eventually took home the spoils after their first innings score of 196/6 was re-worked to a target of 151 to chase for Rajasthan Royals at Delhi.
Youngsters Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant came good for Delhi with their respective scores of 47, 50 and 69.
With the rain interruption, Rajasthan were required to chase down 151 in just 12 overs. Jos Buttler’s brutal 18-ball 50 meant that the away side already had more than half the required target achieved in less than six over. But thanks to some spin magic by Amit Mishra and uncanny accuracy by Trent Boult, the home side pulled things back in their favour. Eventually, Rajasthan would fall short by five runs, with five wickets remaining,
April 11th 2018, Rajasthan Royals won by 10 runs (D/L method)
Another rain-affected match, this time it were the Royals who emerged victorious. A challenging total of 153/5 was put on the board by the home side Rajasthan. It was chiefly down to Ajinkya Rahane’s start of 45 runs off 40 balls that Rajasthan could reach the total, with the rest of the batting line-up not making any telling contributions.
What ensued next was another two and a half-hour rain delay, and at one point it seemed like the game would not resume at all. But the Jaipur crowd got what they had come there for. The clouds parted, and the revised target for Delhi was 71 runs in 6 overs.
Colin Munro was run-out off the first ball and that set the tone for the rest of the Delhi innings. Even though they fought hard, they could only manage 60/4 in their 6 overs, with Rishabh Pant top-scoring with 30 off 14 deliveries.
May 3rd 2015, Rajasthan Royals won by 14 runs
An unbeaten 91 by Ajinkya Rahane saw Rajasthan Royals end their losing streak in the 2015 edition of the IPL, when Delhi were defeated in the match being played in Mumbai due to issues with Royals’ home ground.
Riding on Rahane’s knock which contained nine four and three sixes, and buoyed by Karun Nair’s 61 off 38 balls, Rajasthan put up a score of 189/2 in the first innings to set Delhi a challenging target.
Mayank Agarwal, then playing for Delhi, opened the batting with Shreyas Iyer but departed on 11 with the score at 20. JP Duminy came in at number three to hold things up but with wickets falling all around him, his 56 off 39 balls didn’t come to much fruition in the end. Delhi ended their innings on 175/7 in their 20 overs.
April 12th 2015, Rajasthan Royals won by 3 wickets
One of the most tightly contested matches of the 2015 edition of the IPL, this encounter between home side Delhi and Rajasthan went down to the very last ball.
Batting first, the Delhi batsmen delivered whatever was expected of them with handy contributions from everyone that took to the crease. Though no batsman crossed 44, it was a string of consistent scores from Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, JP Duminy and Yuvraj Singh that got Delhi to a total of 184/3 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Ajinkya Rahane started off in typical fashion with his elegant strokes finding the boundary ropes with regularity. But he was the lone ranger, with Steve Smith and Sanju Samson falling in quick succession at the other end. With the Delhi bowlers tightening the noose and picking up the wicket of Karun Nair as well, in walked Deepak Hooda.
Hooda would go on to build a solid partnership with Rahane which took Rajasthan closer to the target. In fact, he took over as the aggressor, hitting 54 off 25 balls. Even though he eventually fell, Chris Morris and Tim Southee were at the crease to take Rajasthan over the line off the last ball of the match, registering a famous win.
May 15th 2014, Rajasthan Royals won by 62 runs
A completely one-sided game played in Ahmedabad in the 2014 edition of the IPL, Rajasthan Royals’ first innings total of 201/6 was enough for them to set up a big win against Delhi.
Ajinkya Rahane (64 off 50), Kevon Cooper (32 off 16), Sanju Samson (40 off 25) and James Faulkner (23 off 8) ensured that despite the loss of wickets, Rajasthan’s boat was never really rocked at any point in the first innings.
When Delhi lost Mayank Agarwal in the second over itself, they needed someone to come in and carry on scoring. But unfortunately, all the batsmen got off to starts which they could never really convert into a big score, and the match was pretty much out of Delhi’s hands when the score read 58/5 in the ninth over.
Manoj Tiwary though, batting at number five carried his bat through the innings and remained unbeaten on 61 off 44 balls as Delhi’s innings ended on 139/9 in their 20 overs.
First Published: April 22, 2019, 11:31 AM IST