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56th Match (N), Delhi, May 07, 2024, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:222) 201/8

DC won by 20 runs

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
108.57 ptsImpact List

Rajasthan Royals aim to secure playoffs qualification against Delhi Capitals

Royals had dropped to second place on Sunday after five weeks at No. 1

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah

Match details

Delhi Capitals (sixth) vs Rajasthan Royals (second)
Delhi, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture: More carnage at the Kotla?

Delhi has been a batter's dream and a nightmare for bowlers in IPL 2024, with an average first-innings score of 249 and an overall run rate of 11.38 - the highest of any venue this season - in the three matches there so far.
It has worked out well for DC, who won their last two games at home on the back of Jake Fraser-McGurk's fireworks. DC's openers have averaged 57.33 with a strike rate of 292 in Delhi.
The powerful starts have allowed Tristan Stubbs, Rishabh Pant and even Axar Patel to continue the momentum. Stubbs is striking at 186 against both pace and spin, Pant is on track to have his best IPL season, and Axar's left-handedness has proved to be a big weapon anywhere in the order. Those are all promising signs as DC need to win their remaining three league games, but the odds are stacked against them since they are facing Rajasthan Royals.
It's taken a lot to beat RR in IPL 2024: Gujarat Titans managed it by hitting a last-ball boundary, and Sunrisers Hyderabad denied RR two runs off the final ball in their previous game.
Royals, who dropped to second on the points table on Sunday after leading for more than five weeks, have the standout bowling unit of IPL 2024. A win will not only help them reclaim the top spot but also assure them of a place in the playoffs. Their pacers' economy of 8.22 and an average of 23.57 are the best among all teams. They are also exceedingly potent with the new ball, averaging three wickets per game in the first six overs. Add to that, the experience of their spinners and the form of their top order.
If there's any weakness, it is their undercooked lower-middle order. Shimron Hetmyer and Rovman Powell are finding big shots but not finishing games off. Dhruv Jurel has also struggled apart from one half-century, and their Nos. 5 to 8 are averaging only 20.93. That makes the eight overs from Kuldeep Yadav and Axar major factors for DC, but the spinners will need support from a lacklustre pace-bowling unit that has conceded 10.35 per over this season.

Form guide

Delhi Capitals LWWLW (last five completed games, most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals LWWWW

Previous meeting

In Jaipur, Riyan Parag's 84 helped RR recover from 36 for 3 to finish on 185. In response, DC lost their way after a strong start to the chase, with the RR bowlers squeezing the middle order. Pant, Abishek Porel and Axar scored only 52 runs off 49 balls between them, and DC went down by 12 runs.

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Delhi Capitals
Ishant Sharma is fit again, but a call on David Warner's availability will be taken on match day. DC will also toss up between Prithvi Shaw and Kumar Kushagra but the latter may get the nod. Shaw struggles against the ball swinging in and has an average of 11.75 in his last four games. Wicket-taking fast bowler Rasikh Salam is the expected Impact Player.
Likely XII: 1 Jake Fraser-McGurk, 2 Abishek Porel, 3 Shai Hope, 4 Tristan Stubbs, 5 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 6 Axar Patel, 7 Kumar Kushagra, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Khaleel Ahmed, 10 Lizaad Williams, 11 Mukesh Kumar, 12 Rasikh Salam
Rajasthan Royals
Mitigating circumstances aside, RR are likely to play the same team. They have no injury concerns. Jos Buttler for Yuzvendra Chahal is the likeliest Impact Player swap.
Likely XII: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt & wk), 4 Riyan Parag, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Dhruv Jurel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Avesh Khan, 11 Sandeep Sharma, 12 Yuzvendra Chahal

In the spotlight - Pant and Samson

Outside the IPL, there's another contest to keep an eye on, the one between the two wicketkeeper-batters in India's T20 World Cup squad - Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson.
Both are approaching 400 runs and could finish with their best IPL seasons. There's also little to choose between the two as Pant's numbers (398 runs, strike-rate of 158.56, ball-per-boundary ratio of 4.56) are similar to Samson's (385 runs, strike-rate of 159.09, ball-per-boundary ratio of 4.57).
The one difference is that Samson is a better hitter of spin in IPL 2024 and his strike-rate of 150.92 between overs 7-16 is the best among all the players in India's World Cup squad. One reason for that could be Samson, at No. 3, has more opportunity of being set before playing the middle overs. However, since 2019, Samson averages only 18.78 when walking into bat after the 11th over, while Pant's performances are much stronger there. Who will take the upper hand with the World Cup approaching?

Stats that matter

  • The team batting first has won all three games in Delhi this season, after making 220-plus each time.
  • Kuldeep had dismissed Buttler three times in nine innings. The batter has a strike rate of 138.09 (87 runs off 63 balls) against the wristspinner.
  • Rishabh Pant vs spin could be a key battle: he has a strike rate of 188 against pace this season, but only 118 against spin.
  • Delhi is averaging 14.83 sixes per innings this season, the highest among all venues.

Pitch and conditions

Expect another highway. Dew should not be a major factor and conditions for batting will not change between innings. It will be a hot but dry in the evening.


"We know that we are coming up against a very good Rajasthan side, but we know if we play our best cricket, as we have seen in the tournament so far, if we can play our best cricket for 40 overs, then I'll guarantee we'll be hard to beat. It doesn't matter who we play or where we play them. We know we can beat anybody"
DC head coach Ricky Ponting

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

Win Probability
DC 100%
100%50%100%DC InningsRR Innings

Over 20 • RR 201/8

Rovman Powell b Mukesh Kumar 13 (10b 1x4 1x6 36m) SR: 130
DC won by 20 runs
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