Hit by Ben Stokes’ forced withdrawal from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 due to injury, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will aim to bounce back when they face current leaders Delhi Capitals (DC) in Match seven on Thursday.
The inaugural champions faced a narrow defeat against the rechristened Punjab Kings (PKBS) by four runs on Monday.
Delhi Capitals are coming off an inspired seven-wicket win over MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), in a match where Prithvi Shaw (72) and Shikhar Dhawan (85) led the batting charts with match-winning knocks while chasing a target of 189. DC eventually sealed victory quite comfortably, with seven wickets and eight balls to spare.
Meanwhile, an inspired performance from Sanju Samson (119) on his debut match as RR skipper went in vain as they succumbed to a last-ball defeat to KL Rahul’s Punjab side. Chasing a mammoth total of 222, Samson single-handedly took Royals deep into the game despite losing wickets at the other end.
After refusing to take a single off the penultimate ball with Chris Morris at the other end during the chase, Rajasthan needed five runs to win off the last ball. However, Samson, facing the last ball after refusing that single, then attempted for a lofted shot over wide long-off, where he eventually found Deepak Hooda with the catch, thereby sealing victory for PBKS.
Despite ending up on the losing side, Samson was eventually named Man of the Match for his valiant effort.
Englishman Ben Stokes, meanwhile, sustained a broken finger in his left hand during RR’s opening game. He suffered the injury while running in from long-on and diving forward to collect Chris Gayle’s catch.
His unavailability from the rest of the tournament comes as a blow to Rajasthan who have also been hit with the absence of injured Jofra Archer, whose participation in the IPL also hangs in the balance.
Manan Vohra, Jos Buttler, Shivam Dube and Riyan Parag all got starts for Rajasthan last tyime out but failed to get going, which resulted in Samson lacking support at the other end.
Rajasthan would also hope for improvements in their bowling department. Only Chetan Sakariya (3/31 in four overs) and Royan Parag (1/7 in one over) managed to control their economy below 10 with their rest of the bowlers going for expensive figures.
Ahead of the crunch contest which will once again see an Ashwin-Buttler faceoff, here’s all you need to know about when and where to watch:
When will the seventh match of the IPL between RR and DC take place?
The fifth match of IPL 2021 between KKR and MI will take place on 15 April, 2021.
What is the venue for the match?
The match will take place at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
What time will the match start?
The match will begin at 7.30 pm IST. The toss will take place at 7 pm IST.
Which TV channels will broadcast the match?
The match will telecast on the Star Sports Network. The live streaming of the match will also available on Disney+ Hotstar. Besides, you can browse Firstpost.com for the live updates and over-by-over commentary.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c), Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomor, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Shivam Dube, KC Cariappa, Chetan Sakariya, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.
Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (Captain), Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings
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Facing bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals, who have been the most inconsistent team so far in the season, KKR will be desperate for a turnaround.
Mumbai's middle-order, which boasts of hard-hitting batsmen like Suryakumar Yadav (154 runs), Ishan Kishan (73 runs), Hardik Pandya (36 runs), Krunal Pandya (29 runs) and Kieron Pollard (65 runs), haven't fired in unison so far.
Unless there is a drastic change for the lower half of the table – be it in their form, and/or fortune, and fickle-mindedness – this could be a rather long second half for RR, PBKS, KKR, and SRH.