Samson’s 86 in vain, as Delhi Capitals edge Rajasthan Royals

With this win, DC have managed to keep themselves alive in the tournament. (Source:

For Delhi Capitals, it was a match that they couldn’t afford to lose. Facing the formidable Rajasthan Royals, they knew they had a tough challenge ahead. However, posting a total of 221, batting first, gave them a winnable opportunity. In the end, they restricted Royals to 201/8 to win by 20 runs. With this win, DC moved to the fifth position in the points table, while Royals stay put at second.

Openers shine for DC

Trent Boult initially managed to keep the dynamic Jake Fraser-McGurk quiet by angling the ball back from around the wicket. Boult troubled him with this tactic, but once the swing subsided, it was Fraser-McGurk who took control and dispatched the bowlers to all parts of the ground.

While his opening partner Abishek Porel found his rhythm at the other end, he was content to play second fiddle. Fraser-McGurk, as he often does, attacked the bowlers.

Despite a slow start, Fraser-McGurk reached his half-century inside four overs. Avesh Khan bore the brunt of his assault, conceding 28 runs in his first over. Ravichandran Ashwin provided a breakthrough for Royals, forcing Fraser-McGurk to spoon a catch to Donovan Ferreira at cover. Porel then took charge, playing aggressively alongside Axar Patel, maintaining a steady run rate even after the Powerplay and securing his maiden IPL fifty.

Ashwin regains his mojo

Before this match, Ashwin had only taken two wickets in nine games, remaining wicketless in seven matches. While Sanju Samson downplayed concerns about Ashwin’s form, the pressure was undeniably mounting on the spin ace. Due to Royals’ overall success as a team, Ashwin’s lackluster performance had not garnered much attention. However, he was aware that he was falling short of his best.

When Ashwin was brought into the attack, Fraser-McGurk had already reached his fifty and he was aggressively targeting every bowler. Ashwin’s delivery, a full toss, resulted in Fraser-McGurk hitting it straight to cover, signalling a potential turning point in the bowler’s favour. Indeed, it proved to be his night.

Ashwin bowled exceptionally well, ending with 3/24 in his four overs, while other bowlers conceded at over 8.5 runs per over. Following a brisk start by DC, Ashwin’s spin provided Royals with much-needed damage control. There was some turn and grip available, and Ashwin used that to great effect.

Samson’s super knock

Yashasvi Jaiswal fell early to Khaleel Ahmed’s delivery. Samson, on the other hand, appeared in good form right from the start. Jos Buttler faced some tight bowling from the DC pacers and also struggled against Axar Patel’s spin, leading to his dismissal in the penultimate ball of the Powerplay. With two key wickets early on, DC gained an advantage. Samson, having started well, aimed to capitalise on the momentum. Continuing his trend for the season, he converted his start into a substantial score, blasting 86 runs off 46 balls before getting dismissed. The catch, taken on the boundary line, had a touch of controversy.

Samson aggressively tackled the bowlers, especially the seamers, executing horizontal bat shots with precision and power. The highlight of his innings was the way he batted in the middle overs. The right-handed batter took risks and didn’t let the match slip away in the middle phase when Kuldeep Yadav and Axar bowled in tandem.

Pant’s brilliant captaincy

Very rarely will you see a spinner bowl the 18th over. Rishabh Pant handed the responsibility to Kuldeep and he responded well by taking two wickets while giving away only four runs. This proved to be the game-changing over, as the required run-rate climbed 18. It was excellent thinking from the DC to hold back his ace spinner. Overall, Pant’s captaincy was brilliant as he rotated his bowlers exceedingly well.