Steve Smith won the toss and elected to field first.
This was not a typical Sharjah pitch as it was much drier and was expected to help bowlers a little more than the previous games.
Jofra Archer started very well with the new ball picking up early wickets and a couple of run outs put the Capitals in trouble. Marcus Stoinis continued his great form in the tournament as he was putting away the loose deliveries with ease. Shimron Hetmyer capitalized well on the short boundaries as well. Rajasthan had the game in control but let it slip with the ball a bit as Delhi Capitals got to 184 which was a good score considering their strong bowling attack.
Jaiswal really struggled to get going and Ashwin got the first breakthrough to dismiss the dangerous Buttler. From there on although Smith got a start, he was not able to keep going and Samson once again failed to contribute which took them out of the game. Tewatia tried to get a few away but they never managed to gain any kind of momentum with the bat as they got bowled out for 138.
Delhi Capitals is a very good team who have the momentum on their side as they get another easy victory. Rajasthan on the other hand are struggling now, particularly with their batting not making any contributions in the last 4 matches which is hurting them. They need to turn things around quickly to stay in the tournament.
Game Changing Moments
The innings from Stoinis and Hetmyer were stand outs on a day which was dominated by bowlers. At a stage where Shreyas Iyer and Pant got run out, Rajasthan was on top but these two got the important runs.
For Rajasthan to Chase this score, with the kind of batting line up they had, it was very important for them to get off to a flyer and needed Buttler to get going. Ashwin picking up the wicket of Buttler pushed Rajasthan back after which they never came back. Jaiswal’s innings did not help as well as he was not able to get going which put pressure on the batsman at the other end.
Areas to Focus
Rajasthan’s death bowling has been a bit of a problem. Since Curran was expensive, they got in Tye but he went for runs in the end as well. They will need someone along with Archer to put their hands up.
Rajasthan’s batting is something that definitely needs some attention. They have lost early wickets too often. Steve Smith and Samson in particular who are key players for the royals have failed 4 games in a row which is a concern. They will hope to have a better balance with the inclusion of Stokes but they will still need Smith and Samson scoring runs consistently along with Buttler at the top.
Underrated Performer of the Day
Anrich Nortje has been overshadowed by Rabada but he has done a very good job for Delhi opening the bowling. Once again in this match, he went at just 6.25 runs an over and picked up the important wicket of Steve Smith who has performed very well at Sharjah in previous games.