After bowling well in death overs against Delhi Capitals and starting the chase in fine fashion, Rajasthan Royals’ effort petered out meekly with Steve Smith acknowledging that they were ahead before losing it.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler gave the Royals a rollicking start and were scoring freely in the first three overs before Anrich Nortje’s pace had the right hander cleaned up. Skipper Smith, who has been struggling, failed to get a move on and was dismissed for 1.
“We needed to take it a bit deeper from some batters and we were not able to do that. We thought we bowled well at the backend and restricted them to 160-odd, that was probably around par on this wicket.”
“And the opening partnership got us ahead in the game but we couldn't extend those partnerships, boys were getting in and getting out, not going on to make 50 or 60,” Smith said after the 13-run defeat.
“We got off to a good start with Jos and Stokesy, then we lost a couple wickets and got another partnership between Stokesy and Sanju, we lost wickets in clumps again and on slow wickets it is hard to make up too many runs at the backend.”
Stokes, in what was his second game this season, scored 41 and put on a partnership with Sanju Samson (25), but neither could kick on. Robin Uthappa (32) and Rahul Tewatia tried their best but Delhi’s South African pacers were sharp and dismantled the Royals lower order.
“It has been the trend in the tournament, the boys that have the air speed have had the most success, Jofra has been great for us and same with Nortje and Rabada for Delhi. They changed things around tonight with bowling with pace, taking pace off and varying it nicely, we weren't able to deal with that.”