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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
April 30, 2012
Match factsMay 1, 2012, Jaipur
Big PictureRajasthan Royals will still be wondering how they botched the chase against Delhi Daredevils two days back. With 15 needed off 12 balls, with nine wickets in hand, you would back yourself for a comfortable chase. Yet, what ensued reiterated the theory that all it takes is one good over to tilt the scales in Twenty20s. Leave too much to the end, and the joke's on you. Royals have a chance to set things right against the same opponent, in their Jaipur fortress. They will be boosted by the arrival from the West Indies of the Australian Shane Watson, who will have to conquer jet-lag first, and Morne Morkel next. If Watson does play straightaway, the question is who will make way - either Brad Hodge or Owais Shah. Three consecutive defeats will be at the back of their minds when they take on the in-form Daredevils.
With 14 points, Daredevils are still on top. Should they lose, they will remain in that position. Luck's going their way and their season has been a marked improvement from last year. This will be Kevin Pietersen's last game before he flies back home and his presence as an impact player will be missed. A big plus for Daredevils is the contribution of two low-profile Indian players - Shahbaz Nadeem and Yogesh Nagar. Nagar was the unsung hero of the previous game, making the most of the final over to give the score some respectability.
Form guide(most recent first)
Delhi Daredevils: WWWLW
Rajasthan Royals: LLLWW
Players to watchThough Morkel's tight penultimate over in the chase hogged the attention, Umesh Yadav's effort in the final over cannot be ignored. Though he had 12 to defend, he was parsimonious in his first three deliveries, giving away only two runs. A freak six by Ajinkya Rahane nearly overshadowed his efforts, but Yadav held his nerve for the final ball, beating the well-set Rahane for pace.
Royals' Amit Singh picked up two wickets, but was the most expensive bowler at the Kotla, giving 41 runs. Twenty of those came off his final over, the last of the innings, which made the difference in the final analysis. If Siddharth Trivedi returns, Amit Singh's place could be in trouble.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"We probably bowled the best of any teams against Delhi, who have such a formidable batting line-up."
"Great spirit shown by the team. Brilliant stuff from Morne. Must have been heartbreaking for Ajinkya though."
Virender Sehwag tweets after Daredevils' surprise win
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test