Jos Buttler made a whirlwind 26-ball 67 for Rajasthan Royals, but Delhi Daredevils defended 15 off the last over to sneak home by four runs by the DLS method in Match 32 of IPL 2018.
In a rain-affected game in Delhi on Wednesday, May 2, that was reduced to 18 overs per side, the hosts were put in to bat. They scaled 196/6 in 17.1 overs before another rain interruption meant that the innings was ended abruptly.
When play resumed, Rajasthan were set a steep target of 151 runs from 12 overs. Although they were in the hunt until the final ball of the match, helped by Buttler’s four fours and seven sixes, they fell four runs short of their target.
Fifteen runs were needed off the last over bowled by Trent Boult, but only 10 came off it as the experienced New Zealand fast bowler put the brakes on the Rajasthan onslaught.
After the match, Boult said bowling at the death was still something he was working on. “It’s still a learning curve so trying to develop my skills. The advantage of coming to IPL is picking others’ brains.”
Before this victory, Delhi were languishing at the bottom of the table with four points from seven matches. Not only did this win propel them to sixth, but it also kept playoff qualification doors open for teams in the lower half of the table.
Delhi now have in their ranks the highest wicket-taker in Boult, who has 13, and the highest run-getter in Rishabh Pant. On Wednesday, Pant’s 69 came off just 29 balls. It was a knock laden with seven fours and five sixes.
“I think the extra striking of the ball is really important for the team. If he plays to the last over, the scoreboard looks totally different,” said Shreyas Iyer, Delhi’s young captain, of Pant.
Iyer, leading Delhi only for the third time this season, starred with the bat as well, scoring 50 off 35 balls. He described this outing as a “heart-throbbing match”. “[It] was a heart-throbbing match. On this wicket here, even 200 is less, but the bowlers kept their nerve and came back strong,” he said.
“We also know that it’s important for us to win all the games. We’ve been believing in each other and Ricky Ponting (Delhi coach) is really positive. No one is thinking negatively.”
Rajasthan now find themselves seventh, only ahead of Mumbai Indians, and their captain Ajinkya Rahane was disappointed. He was all praise for Buttler – “Buttler was amazing … we know how dangerous he is and Jos in form is good for us” – but wanted more from his side.
“151 off 12 was difficult, but we did magnificently with the bat nonetheless. The wicket was pretty good, ball was coming onto the bat, but our bowlers’ execution wasn’t good,” he said. “All games are knockouts for us. It’s all in the minds now.”