Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman took 2/29 as his team Rajasthan Royals bounced back with a much-improved bowling performance to score their first points in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Thursday.
Chris Morris hit an 18-ball 36 with four sixes to lead the team to a three-wicket win over Delhi Capitals.
In their first outing, Mustafiz returned unflattering figures of 0/45 off 4 overs, as Rajasthan's bowlers were flayed around the park as KL Rahul's Punjab Kings piled on 221/6 off their allotted overs. Rajasthan ended up losing a high-scoring thriller by just 4 runs.
In Thursday's game, Rajasthan won the toss and opted to bowl first again.
As part of a new gameplan that clearly seemed to work better, Mustafiz didn't take the new ball, instead coming on to bowl right after the Powerplay. By then, Delhi were already rattled, having fallen to 3/36 as Jaydev Unadkat, introduced into the team today as a third left-arm seamer, ran through the Delhi top order with the new ball. He finished with immaculate figures of 3/15 off 4 overs.
Mustafiz too had an immediate impact, taking a wicket in his first over - Australian Andrew Stoinis all at sea against an old special, the off cutter, looping an easy catch to mid-off. His second scalp would come at the death, with Englishman Tom Curran playing all over another delivery that seemed to take forever to arrive, beating everything but the stumps.
Delhi were restricted to a sub-par 147/8 off their 20 overs. In a remarkable turnaround from the game against Punjab, no Rajasthan bowler conceded a single 6.
In reply however, Rajasthan lost four wickets for just 36 runs, and looked set to make a meal of the relatively small chase. Chris Woakes removed the openers – Jos Buttler and Manan Vohra – in three balls of the third over. Number five batsman David Miller smashed a 43-ball 62 with seven fours and two sixes to keep the dream alive for Rajasthan.
In the last three overs, Rajasthan needed to score 34 runs to seal the game. Tom Curran conceded only seven runs off the 18th over, and Rajasthan needed 27 off the last two overs. That was the cue for Chris Morris to now step up to the plate, which he did with aplomb, facing the next 10 balls and hitting 4 of them for 6.
Kagiso Rabada gave away 15 runs in the 19th over as Morris hit two big sixes.
In the last over, Curran failed to defend 12 runs as Morris hit two more sixes to seal the game with two balls to play.
It was a win set up by the bowlers however, and Unakat deservingly got the man of the match award.