Deepak Hooda, the 19-year-old from Baroda scripted a sensational win for Rajasthan as the Royals secured their second win of IPL 8. Hooda scored a 25-ball 54 as Royals handed Delhi their 11th consecutive loss – now equal with Pune Warriors for the most on the trot. He also chipped in with the ball bowling an economical spell of 4-0-20-0 and was rightly adjudged player of the match.
Delhi off to a strong start
Delhi Daredevils who were under the pump regarding their team selection and batting line-up had their work cut-out when Albie Morkel was deemed unfit prior to the start. Morkel, was the only high point in their disappointing opening match against Chennai, and he had to be replaced by Angelo Mathews. However, Delhi did manage to make a good start with youngsters Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer and raced to 44/0 off four.
Skipper Steven Smith was quick to introduce spin in the fifth over and that paid off straight away when Tambe removed Agarwal. Deepak Hooda was brought into the attack at the other end too which put a check on the Delhi scoring rate.
Re-jigged batting line-up, Mathews propels Delhi to 184
With a positive note, Delhi sent skipper Duminy at 3 and Yuvraj at 4 and scored off the quick bowlers with ease. Angelo Mathews played the role of finisher as he along with Duminy teed of 64 off the last six overs to propel Delhi to 184.
Delhi spinners provide regular break-throughs
Chasing at more than 9-an-over, Rajasthan had their work cut out when both Delhi spinners – Tahir and Mishra – found appreciable grip and turn off the Feroz Shah Kotla surface. Royals, just like the Daredevils, found easy going against the quick men. However, the hosts kept chipping away at the other end as Royals found themselves at a precarious 78/4 in the 11th over.
Deepak Hooda walks in at 78/4
That was when Deepak Hooda walked in. He had little choice but to attack and he did exactly that. He danced down the track against the spinners, went back-and-across against quicker bowlers and scored all round the ground. Tahir kept Delhi in the hunt by removing Rahane in the 16th over but Hooda kept playing positively, bringing up his fifty in just 22 balls. James Faulkner who walked in at 7 found a couple in the middle of his bat as 17 was scored off Coulter-Nile’s 17th over that saw Royals’ target reduced to 19 off a dozen balls.
Imran Tahir keps Delhi in the game
Duminy used Tahir wisely as the leg spinner delivered for the skipper in the penultimate over. He had Deepak Hooda caught at long-on in the very first ball and spun a googly past Faulkner to bring back the Daredevils in the match. A dozen was required off the last six balls and Mathews was handed the responsibility.
Mathews bowled round-the-wicket to bowl a tight line. The tactic backfired when Chris Morris nudged one past short fine-leg in the fourth ball. It came down to 3 off the last ball and Kiwi Tim Southee creamed it through the covers to take Royals to second position in the league table.
Hosts rue missed chances
The Delhi Daredevils were left heartbroken after being unable to defend a total of over 180 with two quality spinners at their disposal, it was. They can look back and regret the missed opportunities especially when Yuvraj failed to effect a run-out in the 14th over with Hooda only on 23. In the following over, Manoj Tiwary spilled a catch, again of Hooda, this time the batsman at 31.
Delhi Daredevils: 184/3 from 20 overs (Duminy 44*, Iyer 40, Morris 2/35)
Rajasthan Royals: 186/7 from 20 overs (Hooda 54, Rahane 47, Tahir 4/28)