The first over in both innings of the Rajasthan Royals-Delhi Capitals clash in IPL 2023 at the Barsapara Cricket Ground on Saturday literally made the difference between the two teams apparent.
Yashasvi Jaiswal showed his full range of shots by hitting Khaleel Ahmed for five fours to be 20/0 in the opening over. With the ball, Trent Boult took out impact player Prithvi Shaw and Manish Pandey on back-to-back balls to leave Delhi at 0/2 in their opening over.
That set the tone for Rajasthan's 57-run victory over Delhi and propelled them to go on top of the ten-team points table. Openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler smashed half-centuries in a rollicking 98-run opening partnership, including slamming 14 boundaries in the first six overs.
Though DC clawed back with three quick wickets in the middle overs, Shimron Hetmyer provided for the finishing touch with 38 not out to propel Rajasthan to 199/4. In reply, Boult and Yuzvendra Chahal picked 3/29 and 3/27 respectively to restrict Delhi to 142/9 in 20 overs.
Captain David Warner's 65 off 55 balls was the lone bright spot in a dull batting show as Delhi crashed to their third consecutive defeat of the tournament.Jaiswal began the onslaught with five fours off Khaleel -- a pull over midwicket was followed by a cut through deep third man (and aided by a misfield).
He then drove through extra cover, chipped over long-on, and steered over short third man to push Delhi on backfoot straight away.Buttler joined the boundary-hitting party by taking three boundaries off Anrich Nortje in the second over.
He had a life on 18 when Nortje went running from mid-on and covered great ground, but couldn't hold on to the catch as Rajasthan brought up their fifty in just four overs.Jaiswal continued to be exquisite in his stroke-play, taking three boundaries off Axar Patel through a switch-hit, cut and sweep.
He continued to take runs off the left-arm spinner, cutting through the off-side and followed it up with a gentle flick between deep mid-wicket and long-on to reach his fifty in 25 balls.While Buttler took two boundaries off Kuldeep Yadav in the eighth over, Jaiswal cracked the first six of the match by launching him high over long-off.
The partnership came to an end when Jaiswal went for a cross-bat shot off a bouncer from Mukesh Kumar, but gave a top-edge for the bowler to complete a simple caught and bowled dismissal.
Delhi bounced back as Sanju Samson fell for a four-ball duck, holing out to long-on off Kuldeep, while Riyan Parag, playing in his 50th IPL game, completely missed a slower delivery from Rovman Powell to see his stumps in disarray.
But Buttler marched forward to get his fifty in 31 balls by pulling Axar over cow corner for six. He then broke a spell of 20 boundary-less balls with back-to-back fours off Mukesh. Hetmyer began giving finishing touches with loft and drive off Powell for six and four respectively.
Buttler used Nortje's pace to lap over long leg, before hitting him down the ground to make it two fours off the 18th over. His knock came to an end in the next over when Mukesh took a return catch on rebound after a juggle. After Dhruv Jurel whipped Mukesh over mid-wicket for six, Hetmyer smashed Nortje for sixes over mid-wicket and long-off to take Rajasthan to one short of 200.
Boult then gave Rajasthan a cracking start as Shaw was caught behind with flying in front of first slip to snap one with his right mitts. On the very next ball, Pandey was trapped lbw by a fuller delivery angled in. The batter went for a review, but went in vain as replays showed the ball crashing into leg-stump.
Warner hammered four boundaries off pacers and Ravichandran Ashwin, with Rilee Rossouw getting a brace of fours through the off-side against the fast bowlers. Rajasthan had another wicket in the power-play when Rossouw's reverse swept the ball but found a fielder at cover off Ashwin.
Warner and Lalit Yadav tried to steady the ship for Delhi, with the latter being the more aggressive of the two with reverse-sweeps off Chahal while slicing, pulling and lofting off the fast bowlers.
The 64-run stand came to an end when Yadav was castled by Boult in the 13th over.Though Warner got his fifty in 44 balls, Delhi continued to fall as Patel was easily stumped off Chahal while Powell holed out to deep mid-wicket off Ashwin.
Warner was caught at cover off Murugan Ashwin in the 17th over, but was called a no-ball as Jaiswal was standing two inches outside the 30-yard circle in a fielding restriction violation. Chahal then took out Warner and Abishek Porel in a span of five balls in the 19th over as Rajasthan signed off from the Guwahati leg of home games on a high.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 199/4 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 79, Yashasvi Jaiswal 60; Mukesh Kumar 2/36, Rovman Powell 1/18) beat Delhi Capitals 142/9 in 20 overs (David Warner 65, Lalit Yadav 38; Yuzvendra Chahal 3/27, Trent Boult 3/29) by 57 runs