By the time Mustafiz got the wicket of Jos Buttler in the final ball of the final over after he had scored a century and Rajasthan Royals (RR) collected 222, the match was already over.
It was nice to see Mustafiz get a wicket, one of the 2 in the match though he gave 43 runs in his 4 overs. The other wicket-taker was Khaleel Ahmed who gave 47 runs.
It wasn’t just that the Delhi Capitals (DC) bowling was lacking bite but that RR batting was way out with Buttler leading the march.
Buttler, scoring his third century justified his price and put everyone to the sword, lasting from an obscenely high scoring beginning till the high scoring very end over.
One wonders if the IPL needs a bowling fix or not. The batter-bowler balance is threatening to be upset more than a bit. Except for cameos – like Chahals in a previous match though not today – the batters are the ones who seem to decide the way.
Too much for DC
RR beat the hell out of DC and everyone had double-digit run rates against their overs. Only 2 wickets fell and Paddikal (54)and Buttler(116) made 155, the highest first wicket partnership this season.
Captain Sanju Samson made 46 too and the team got to 222, a double Nelson. The target was more than 11 runs per over and that DC could reach 207 with the loss of 7 wickets shows that the match didn’t really pick up till the end and that really means the last over. As the asking rate went beyond 12, early on, victory became remote.
DC lost Warner, the man supposed to lead the chase by the 4th over after scoring 28 only and Sarfaraz went a ball later. No one stood up to be counted and all had motored along.
Risabh Pant scored the highest 44 runs.
The match actually did start picking up a bit in the 17th over as the asking and current run rate rubbed shoulders but Lalit Yadav, the last hope was boxed in the 18th (37) and the DC lights began to dim. In came Rovman Powell and there was drama. It was 36 runs to get in the final over and Rovman hit one, two and three sixes in a row. DC could make it only if he hit a 6 in every ball and after the first three, the fans believed it was not just possible but coming. Sadly the next three were 0/2/W. DC lost by 15 runs after a good deal of drama in the final over.
Fittingly, the two players who didn’t come out to bat were Mustafiz and Khaleel, the two wicket-takers. The story was there.