IPL 2024: Jake Fraser-McGurk, Abishek Porel and spinners keep Delhi Capitals afloat | CricketNews

IPL 2024: Jake Fraser-McGurk, Abishek Porel and spinners keep Delhi Capitals afloat | CricketNews
IPL 2024: Jake Fraser-McGurk, Abishek Porel and spinners keep Delhi Capitals afloat | CricketNews
NEW DELHI: Delhi Capitals secured a crucial 20-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in a must-win game at home on Tuesday to keep their IPL playoffs alive.

The win for Capitals came courtesy of an all-round effort with both bat and ball as Royals fell short in a steep 222 chase.

The DC spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav dished out impressive performances after batters fired in unison.

Yet again, it was Jake Fraser-McGurk (50) and Abishek Porel’s (65) coruscating display of power-hitting that took DC to a challenging 221 for eight.

Royals, needing a win to guarantee their spot in the playoffs, started their chase strongly. However, the dismissal of captain Sanju Samson, who scored a blister 86 off 46 deliveries, in the 16th over proved to be a turning point. The Royals’ innings lost their momentum following Samson’s departure, and they ultimately fell short, finishing at 201 for 8.

Wrist spinner Kuldeep (2/25 in 4 overs) and left-arm spinner Axar (1/25 in 3 overs) exhibited impressive control over line and length that did put brakes on Royals’ scoring rate in the middle overs.

As It Happened

The two bowlers gave away just 50 runs in their combined seven overs.

After Tuesday’s win, Delhi Capitals moved to fifth place with 12 points — the same as three other teams — but even if they win their remaining two contests, it will be difficult for them to make the knockout stage as the teams placed above them have better chances of logging 18 points. DC can have a maximum of 16 points.

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had jolted the Capitals with wickets in his successive overs but pacer Avesh Khan bled runs.

Samson’s stroke-making was a treat to watch, even as Jos Buttler could not make the most of a dropped chance. Samson treated the seasoned pacer Ishant Sharma with utter disdain, scoring easy boundaries off him.

Buttler struggled to get going and was handed a chance when he was on 8 as Jake Fraser-McGurk dropped a high catch off Mukesh Kumar.

The England batter dragged one from left-arm spinner Axar, who displayed the art of containing the batters on a small ground like Kotla.

Kuldeep too had the batters in a tight leash as the asking rate grew. Rasikh Dar cleaned up Riyan Parag after getting hit out of the park.

Samson completed his fifty with a six off Kuldeep and then launched a severe attack on Dar, who leaked 18 in runs in the 13th over of the innings.

Royals needed 91 runs from 42 balls. Debutant Shubham Dube supported his skipper well as he hit a monstrous six off Ishant after hitting a four.

Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed bowled four wides in a row before creating a chance to get rid of Samson, whose lofted shot just fell short of long-off fielder.

However, after the departure of Samson, Royals innings fell apart.

Earlier, had it not been some smart bowling by Ashwin and fellow off-spinner Riyan Parag in the middle overs, DC would have put more runs on the board.

Young Australian batter Fraser-McGurk (50 off 20 balls) continued with his splendid form while Abhishek Porel contributed 65 off 36 balls. Tristan Stubbs chipped in with a useful 20-ball 41 but skipper Rishabh Pant’s (15) bat didn’t talk much.

Royals pacer Trent Boult and Sandeep Singh came in with hit-the-deck approach and largely succeeded in not letting home openers swing freely. The initial boundaries were largely well-timed drives and lofted shots in the ‘V’ space.

Fraser-McGurk grew restless and began to throw his bat around. The Australian gradually got his rhythm and was harsh on Avesh, who he blasted for 28 runs, plundering four fours and two sixes in the fourth over of the innings to complete his half-century in just 19 balls.

As fate would have it, Fraser-McGurk had a soft dismissal when he hit a full-toss from Ashwin straight to cover fielder Donovon Ferreira. Shai Hope too departed soon in a rather unfortunate fashion. For the hit Sandeep straight, the ball touched the bowler’s hand before crashing into the stumps, and caught the West Indian outside the crease.

Yuzvendra Chahal (1/48 in 4 overs) began with a slightly fullish length and was hammered for six by Porel. Parag, though, did a great job with his off-spin as he managed to keep the batters quiet.

Ashwin returned and got rid of Axar Patel, who had just hit Parag for a maximum. Porel though kept going strong and completed his fifty while Avesh continued to bleed runs. In his two overs, he has conceded 42 runs.

RR captain Sanju Samson handed the ball to Ashwin and he delivered yet again, this time sending back Porel with a back of the length ball that the southpaw could not connect well.

The home skipper didn’t do much, throwing his wicket away with a sweep shot off Chahal. DC collected 65 runs from the last five overs.

(With inputs from PTI)

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