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Match summary: Royals look the team to beat now

Kolkata: It was Buttler services at it’s best as Rajasthan Royals had the last laugh in yet another high-scoring game – this time by 15 runs against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium this evening.

The winning margin will not reflect the one-sided nature of the match though. The batting masterclass from Jos Buttler, and his 155-run opening partnership with Devdutt Padikkal, set the tone for the match from where Delhi could never actually recover.

A target of 223, the highest this season, was never going to be easy despite the ball coming onto the bat and the shorter boundaries. Skipper Rishabh Pant (44 off 24 balls) was a game trier, while there were useful cameos from opener Prithvi Shaw and allrounder Lalit Yadav.

Prasidh Krishna (3/22) was the pick of the Royals bowlers while there was a bit of unwarranted drama in the last over being bowled by Obed McCoy. Rovman Powell, his compatriot from the West Indies, sent shivers down Royals’ spine when he clobbered McCoy for three sixes off the first three balls – to bring the equation down to 18 off last three balls.

This is where the Delhi camp went off the boil with Pant taking the lead, demanding that the third delivery was a no-ball, which would have given them a free hit. A senior member of their support staff walked into the ground to argue with umpires who had ruled it as a legal delivery.

When play finally resumed, Powell was soon out and it was all over...

The Delhi allrounder is losing partners but doesn't want to go down without a fight. He picks up the crafty Chahal from outside the off stump and sends him over smaller mid wicket fence for a six. It looks a lost cause though as the asking rate is now over 17....let's see how close can he take it though.

Desperate Axar falls

Axar Patel, a handy batsman, plays all over a Chahal delivery and has his stumps rocked. The asking rate has climbed over 14 now and is well...impossible. Shardul Thakur and Lalit Yadav come together for a last-ditch effort. 

Pant's challenge ends

Skipper Pant's challenge ends, giving Prasidh Krishna his second wicket. 'Skiddy,' as he is known, tries to pull a shorter delivery outside the off stump which takes top edge and Padikkal takes a diving catch at short third man. 

Ashwin strikes again

Shaw, who looked dangerous during his innings of 37, tries to clear Ashwin over the covers but fails as Boult completes a running catch. His 50-plus partnership with Pant ends and the thin nature of Delhi batting line-up now shows.

Pant joins hands with Shaw

At first timeout after nine overs, Delhi are trying to stay afloat at 95 for two. Pant and Shaw milk Obed McCoy while Ashwin also goes for quite a few in his first two overs.

Pressure mounts on is the asking rate

Sarfaraz follows soon

Sarfaraz Khan, who had been a prolific scorer at domestic level, perishes to Ashwin who comes on in Powerplay. A tossed-up delivery which had Sarfaraz going for a long sweep - fails to control the shot and Krishna accepts it at square leg.

Warner falls

The Delhi opening pair started with promise as Warner took on Boult for a six over third man as he and Shaw were looking good. The Aussie, then on 28, was snapped up by Samson off Prasidh Krishna and the pressure will start mounting now.

Mid-match summary: Ton-up Buttler leads the carnage for Royals

Kolkata: There seems to be no clues in the IPL 2022 so far to contain Jos Buttler. The English batter took his time to settle down and hammered his third century in IPL 2022 so far ( 116 off 65 balls) while a 155-run opening partnership between him and Devdutt Padikkal (54 off 35) steered them to a mammoth total of 222 for two against Delhi Capitals.

It seems difficult to recall such a level of domination by a single batter in the cash-rich league – and it’s even difficult to imagine where he would end by the end of their campaign.

Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant looked clueless as none of his bowlers failed to create an impact on the Buttler-Padikkal duo. When the left-handed Padikkal eventually left in the 16th over, falling leg before to Khaleel Ahmed, the Delhi bowlers were already a demoralised lot.

Can Delhi overhaul the highest total this season on this track and with the shorter boundaries? It looks a tall order by stretch of imagination. 

Tired Buttler falls

End of a glorious innings as Buttler smashes a low full toss from Fizz into the hands of Warner at long on. Meanwhile, he had helped Samson put together a 47-run stand for second wicket in no time as the Royals skipper had been also milking a demoralised attack.

Unstoppable Buttler

A strike-rate of 171.67 probably still doesn't say the extent of Buttler's domination this evening. His eight clean hits for maximum was spread all around the park as it was an awesome exhibition of pacing a T20 innings at this level. What a player! 

Some reprieve for Delhi

A rampaging 155-run opening partnership comes to an end as Padikkal eventually gets into groove with a pleasing 54 off 35 balls. The damage has been done - and Pant's bowling changes left a bit to be desired this evening.

Delhi look clueless

The way the Royals openers paced their innings have been exemplary as Delhi bowlers are looking clueless at the moment. None of their three spinners could make an impact and Royals are now looking good for the biggest total at this venue this season. 

Royals sitting pretty

After seeing through the Powerplay carefully, the Royals openers open up against the spinners - putting even a mingy Patel and Kuldeep Yadav under pressure. Buttler reaches a half-century off 36 balls and looks menacing again. 

Buttler, Padikkal up the ante

Pant employing a double spin attack but the Royals openers decide to open up now. Padikkal, on the lookout for a big innings this one, takes on the mingy Patel for a maximum while a patient Buttler lifts Kuldeep straight down the ground.

Buttler opens up

The in-form English batter chooses Khaleel Ahmed to attack, picking him for two sixes over mid wicket in the final over. Rajasthan shake off a cautious start to get to 44  for no loss after Powerplay as Khaleel pulls back well.

Sedate start from Royals

Buttler, Padikkal off to a cautious start on a wicket with a smattering of grass. Pant brings on off spinner Lalit Yadav in third over with a left-hander in Padikkal and the former bowls a tight first over. 

Delhi opt to field

Welcome to Match no.34 of IPL 2022. Delhi Capitals have won the toss and elected to field against Rajasthan Royals with the wicket promising early life for the seamers. Both teams will be fielding unchanged playing XIs from their last game in a potentially exciting clash.

Kolkata: Delhi Capitals will hope to build on their ruthless win in the previous game against an in-form Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium this evening as shadows of Covid-19 continues to lurk in the IPL 2022.

While six members of the Delhi camp, including two players Mitchell Marsh and Tim Seifert are still in isolation after testing positive, their problems were further compounded when head coach Ricky Ponting had to go in isolation on Friday after one of his family members also tested positive. Ponting will not be there in the dugout for the game, though there will be no dearth of tactical nous with IPL veteran Shane Watson and Ajit Agarkar among their assistant coaches.

Rajasthan, coming on the back of a thin win in a high-scoring thriller against Kolkata Knight Riders in the last game, will be banking on the form of Jos Buttler once again to give them a flying start. Delhi will have to strike early and it won’t be a surprise to see Axar Patel being used early on to break the rhythm of strokemakers Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal.

The reputation of bowling arsenal of the ‘Pink Army’ precedes them – with Yuzvendra Chahal’s five-wicket haul enough to sow doubts in the rivals’ mind. It will be interesting to see how Rishabh Pant & Cop copes with it...