IPL 2013 April 19, 2013

Rajasthan Royals and their 150-run fort

Shiva Jayaraman
Rajasthan Royals have by far the best record among all IPL teams when defending targets of 150 or more

With a win in their last match against Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals extended their unbeaten record when defending targets of 163 or more, to 15 wins. In T20 cricket, only Northamptonshire are anywhere near that achievement, having won 13 games and not lost any when defending targets of 163 or more.

In fact, Royals have been the stand-out team in the IPL when defending average to high scores: in matches when they've batted first and scored 149 or more, they've won 16 times and lost only twice. (One game, against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009, was tied, though Royals won the in the Super Over.) Their win-loss ratio of eight is the best in IPL, by far. The next-best is Chennai Super Kings' 2.6, largely due to helpful conditions at home: of their 26 such victories, 19 have been at Chepauk. Royals, though, have not relied on home advantage to build their reputation: they have won all seven away games in which they have set a target of 150 or more.

While some of Royals' success can be attributed to their batsmen setting up the games with huge scores, their bowlers have not let their team down either. Nine of the 16 wins have come when Royals have scored less than 180 runs in their innings. In these matches, the average score of the chasing teams has been 66 for 3 at the end of ten overs. That's left the opposition with more than half the total runs to be scored in the last ten, often with their best batsmen already dismissed. In as many as eight of the 16 wins, Royals have managed to take four or more wickets within 10 overs.

Teams' record when defending targets of 150-plus
  Overall    Away   
  Matches Won-Lost W/L Matches Won-Lost W/L 
RR 19*  16-2  8.0  7-0 
CSK 36  26-10  2.6  13  7-6  1.2 
MI 31  22-9  2.4  11  9-2  4.5 
DD 22  13-8  1.6  2-3  0.7 
Warriors 3-2  1.5  3 2-1  2.0 
RCB 21  11-10  1.1  6 3-3  1.0 
KKR 25  13-12  1.1  10  7-3  2.3 
Kings XI 22  11-11  1.0  3-5  0.6 
Sunrisers 0-1  0.0  0-1  0.0 
* One match between RR and KKR was tied. RR won in super over

Chasing teams' performance in 10 overs
Rajasthan Royals' score Average 10-over score No. of times 4 or more wkts were lost 
149-179 66/3 4
180+ 70/3 4

In fact, the two times when teams upstaged Royals in these chases, they did so with plenty of wickets to spare. In 2011, the first time Royals lost defending a 150-plus total, Kolkata Knight Riders beat them by nine wickets. Gautam Gambhir (75 off 44) and Jacques Kallis (80 off 65) put on an unbeaten 152-run partnership, thus snuffing out the challenge from the Royals bowlers. When Mumbai Indians beat Royals, in 2012, by ten wickets, Dwayne Smith (87 off 58) had an unbeaten opening partnership of 163 with Sachin Tendulkar (58 off 51). Between these two defeats, though, Royals had five wins when defending 150 or more.

In 2013, Royals have twice successfully defended targets of 150 or more with their mix of wicket-taking bowlers and defensive, wicket-to-wicket options. Against Delhi Daredevils they barely scraped through, winning by five runs, but they demolished Mumbai Indians after scoring 179, winning by 87 runs. Given that they themselves have struggled when faced with targets of 150 or more, losing 13 out of 20 such games, that might be the better option for oppositions teams when they take on Royals.

Shiva Jayaraman is sub-editor stats at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohanraj on April 20, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    This article states that across 5 IPLs and approximately 70-80 games, RR has managed to go beyond only 19 times. That is the fact. All the other games have been low scoring matches of sub 150 score. Probably most of them would be in sub 130s. With almost the same number of matches played [may be 10 games additionally] CSK are double in numbers. They have lost some matches, which is bound to happen. Even though this is a record to say in terms of ratio and percentage and not in numbers.

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Surely didnt expect that. True, RR have not stood out as the team to look out for aftertheir innaugural win. For them to be the team with the highest success rate with scores greater than 150 is a surprise. Its also interesting that RR did not depend on the home ground advantage to achieve this feat. While the CSK wins have largely depended on the home ground advantage. Even so, yours truely is a loyal fan of CSK.

  • Saifuddin on April 20, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Every record has an if and but, but after all record is record.

  • gurinder on April 20, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    insignifant record. what of all matches where RR bat second and lose then. after ipl 1 they have been whipping boys of ipl

  • Anantha on April 19, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    I don't know how significant these stats are, considering how much the squads change every year in this format.

  • Srinivas on April 19, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    For such a low-profile team, isn't it awesome to see that they are the ones who have the highest success rate with 150+ scores? Now, this stat is indeed an eye-opener or eye-popper should I say. Way to go RR. Way to go Dravid. Halla Bol Halla Bol....

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