Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2013, Delhi April 6, 2013

Cooper last-over seals victory for Royals

62

Rajasthan Royals 165 for 7 (Dravid 65, Binny 40, Yadav 4-24) beat Delhi Daredevils 160 for 6 (Warner 77, Cooper 3-30) by 5 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An electric late rally in the field, completed by a stoic over of pinpoint yorkers from Kevon Cooper, saw Rajasthan Royals begin their IPL campaign with a thrilling five-run win over Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Daredevils were hurtling towards their target after 17 overs, with only 22 runs to get, and a flourishing David Warner at the crease. But Cooper ignited his side with a five-run over in the 18th that ended with a wicket, before a direct hit from acting captain Brad Hodge at cover dismissed Warner in the penultimate over, to give his side hope of a still-unlikely victory.

Nine runs were required off Cooper's final over, but the bowler delivered six yorkers, two of which dismissed panicking Daredevils batsmen, and provided the IPL's first week with its second nail-biting result. Johan Botha was out lbw, attempting a reverse paddle with seven required from four, before Andre Russell also fell trying to hit the ball fine with six needed from two, only this time Cooper cleaned him up. New man Naman Ojha had to hit a six off the last ball for Daredevils to salvage victory, but could not connect with a wide yorker, sparking ecstatic celebrations from Royals.

Daredevils' death-over meltdown almost mirrored Royals' returns from the same period of their innings, after the visitors had managed just six runs from their last two overs, and lost four wickets. Royals had arrived in the 18th over at 159 for 3, and were eyeing a 180-plus total that seemed par on a good batting surface. They however lost four batsmen in six balls, including Rahul Dravid, whose immaculately paced 65 off 51 held the team's innings together.

Dravid had arrived at Kusal Perera's demise in the third over, and aside from a controlled edge to the third man fence first ball, was largely content to collect singles to begin with, despite the fielding restrictions. When the bowlers erred, as Andre Russell did when he served up a wide delivery in the sixth over, Dravid's placement and timing ensured the desired boundary was achieved.

He was dropped twice in the 12th over, when he began to introduce more aggression to his innings, but he was undeterred, and having made only 22 from his first 26 deliveries, he quickly achieved a more laudable strike rate through the middle overs.

For Daredevils, Warner was also relatively reticent to begin with, allowing opening partner Unmukt Chand to provide the early innings impetus, and striking at no better than a run a ball until the tenth over of the innings. When he eventually exploded in earnest, with two fours off Rahul Shukla in the 13th over, Daredevils appeared to be executing a measured chase.

Warner was dropped early in his innings, and had one more reprieve just after hitting fifty, as he continued to maul some indifferent Royals bowling through the middle overs. Just before Daredevils hit their wall, Warner launched Siddharth Trivedi in the 17th over for 13. After Warner's demise however, none of the Daredevils batsmen seemed capable of finding the boundary, and Royals achieved revenge for the mighty close defeat they had suffered last year, in the same fixture.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Looks like Johan Botha is a big liability for Delhi. He is neither a match winning bowler nor an attacking batsman, I do not know why are they still keeping faith on him. Also, the all round capability of Andre Russel to be questioned. I prefer one good quality bowler and one good quality batsman in these two slots instead of using mediocre all-rounders. I hope Delhi will bounce back from these two defeats.

  • dummy4fb on April 7, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    no words about sreesanth in this match review.... he bowled well in field limit... congrats sree... My team RAHANE, KUSAL, DRAVID, WATSON, KOOPER, HODGE,BINNY, S.BABY, SREE, HAR SINGH, TRIVEDI

  • Dravidsundar on April 7, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Guys I would prefer Dravid in opening slot with watto and rahene comes in 1st down! cuz Dravid mostly relying on timing and finding gaps than power hitting so it will be opt for him to open the innings and make most of first 6 where field restrictions are on! then followed by Rahane and Hodge/shah.Binny,Maneria/Baby,Goswamy,cooper,Sree,Chandila,Fiedel Edwards! He should prefer Edwards more so that depth bowling will improve with world quality fast bowlers in fiedel& sree! sorry for kushal no need of him wattoo is back! so two fast bowlers,2.medium paced,1 spinner with watto's part time bowls perfect mix!

  • Gun79 on April 7, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    All my money on RR. They got the best captain, best local talents and in-form overseas players in the IPL tournament. Only challenge it to pic the best XI since all are good.

  • TeamRocker on April 7, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Even though Perera couldn't kick off, I could see that he has the potential to do just that. He looks like he can win matches if he gets going, so I would include him and Watson as the match-winners. @Dravid_Gravitas: I had forgotten Harmeet Singh. He did bowl really well in the Under 19 WC. In that case, here's my team (assuming that Watson is fit): Perera, Rahane, Watson, Dravid, Hodge/Shah, Binny, Menaria/Baby, Cooper, Sreesanth, Singh, Trivedi/Shukla. Note: Watson and Dravid are interchangable depending on which opener gets out. Watson comes in if Perera goes and Dravid if Rahane does. Watson comes in anyway if the openers bat a long time.

  • Narbavi on April 7, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: Watson at no.4? no way, we need watson to bat in the top 3 for him to make a big impact, and he is not going to be bowling now so your team selection will become invalid as the team has only 4 guys who can bowl, in a t20 game u need 6 guys who can bowl, so my pick would be Dravid Rahane Watson Hodge, Baby, Binny, Faulkner/cooper, Samson, Sreesanth, Harmeet, Tait/Edwards, can use Hogg against teams like punjab and sunrisers who have many locals who will struggle against his style of bowling!!

  • Apocalypse_EX on April 7, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I think RR should persist with Badree. He has the record for lowest economy rate in t20 (4.9 rpo!)! One bad game doesn't mean he will always play like that. Don't forget that he was the catalyst for West Indies' sudden title charge in the World T20.

  • Narbavi on April 7, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    @lasitha: I never said he is a bad player, he is an exciting talent no doubt about that, but the thing is there are only 4 overseas slots, so he can play only if Watson is rested or injured!!

  • dummy4fb on April 7, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Indian media is very much biased. They like to promote some players while tarnishing the image of other players. From the beginning the Indian media is responsible for depicting Sreesanth as a villain and ineffective. But Sreesanth being very temperamental should learn not to worry about any thing else but to focus on right line, length, swing the bowl well enough that batsmen should edge it.

  • ---lasitha--- on April 7, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @Narbavi ----come on man ,youre reallly going to judge him by that single inning, he gets out for 14 and he is a bad player, not that simple right??most sl fans cheer for your team just because this guy is in it, although its not our league. give him some more chances and youll undestand what we are talking about