The Delhi Capitals, who are in fine rhythm, beat Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs in the Indian Premier League match here on Friday to score a hat-trick of victory, topping the points table with 10 points. Shimron Hetmyer’s 45 runs (one four and five sixes in 24 balls) and Marcus Stoinis’s 39 runs (four sixes in 30 balls) helped Delhi Capitals score 184 for eight in their allotted 20 overs. In response, the Rajasthan Royals team were reduced to 138 runs in 19.4 overs despite the struggling innings of Yashasvi Jaiswal (34 runs) and Rahul Tewatia (38 runs), making it their fourth consecutive defeat.

For Delhi Capitals’ fifth win in six matches, Hetmyer did wonders in fielding besides batting, while Stoinis also took two wickets for 17 runs in two overs after doing well with the bat at crucial times. Rajasthan got their first blow in the third over as Jos Buttler (13 runs) was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin (2 for 22). Butler attempted to make a big shot, but Shikhar Dhawan, who was standing on square leg, caught it while diving. Last year, Ashwin bowled Butler out of Mankanding, leading to an interesting rivalry between the two players.

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The team is heavily reliant on its captain Steve Smith (24 runs, 17 balls, two fours and a six), but he too could not play a big innings and Hetmyer took a great catch off the ball of Enrich Norje. Apart from batting, Hetmyer also excelled in fielding, taking the wicket of Sanju Samson (05) after Smith who picked up Stoinis’ ball too high. Hetmyer also took an excellent catch by Shreyas Gopal.

Ashwin made Mahipal Lommar his second victim, taking his score to 76 for four. Now Yashasvi Jaiswal and Teotia (29 balls, three fours and two sixes) were expected, but the target was far away. The team needed 103 runs in the last eight overs. Soon Jaiswal (36 balls, one four and two sixes) was also bowled by Stoinis. Tewatia was bowled by Kagiso Rabada who took three wickets for 35 runs in 3.4 overs.

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Earlier, Delhi Capitals did not have a good start after being invited to bat and lost three wickets in the powerplay. For Rajasthan Royals, Joffra Archer started well, taking two wickets in succession and then taking one wicket for only three runs in the final over. He took three wickets for 24 runs. The way Hetmyer was playing aggressively, it seemed that the team would score big, but after scoring two consecutive sixes on Karthik Tyagi (one wicket for 35 runs), he tried to play another big shot at long on. Seated Tewatiya.

The team lost the wicket of opener Shikhar Dhawan (05) in the very second over, which got an easy catch to Yashasvi Jaiswal at mid-wicket off Archer. Skipper Shreyas Iyer landed at the crease, took some good shots and started the run with opener Prithvi Shaw, but Archer did not let his hopes go and soon gave the team another blow. Sau (19 runs, two fours, one six) played the ball too high and Archer himself caught it at midwicket, pointing to stop Shreyas Gopal.

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Captain Iyer’s run-out was disappointing for the team, who reached the pavilion in an attempt to take a run from the fifth ball of the sixth over. This led to the team’s score of 51 for three in the powerplay. As soon as Stoinis came in, Gopal made his intentions by hitting two consecutive sixes in the seventh over. Rishabh Pant (05 runs) was with him at the other end, but he was run out by mistake in the 10th over himself. Pant started running soon after Stoinis played the ball, while Stoinis could not move from his place and before he could return, his gills had fallen. He was able to play only nine balls.

Sharjah is the small stadium from which the Delhi Capitals team wanted to score big, but the consecutive wickets fell against this campaign. Stoinis and Hetmaier, however, did not allow the run pace to be reduced by intermittent shots. But Stoinis became the victim of Rahul Tewatia (1 for 20) in the 14th over, whose catch was caught by Smith. Akshar Patel scored 17 and Harshal Patel scored 16 runs.



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