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Delhi continue their dominance to go top again

Delhi Capitals continued their impressive run in the Indian Premier League defeating Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs to once again climb to the top of the table.

At the Sharjah Cricket Ground where 209 has been average first innings total this season, Rajasthan did well to restrict Delhi to 184-8 in 20 overs. But a youthful Delhi side bowled equally well and showed brilliant athleticism in the field to bundle out Rajasthan for just 138 in 19.4 overs.

Following their fifth win in six matches, Delhi climbed at the top of the table with 10 points to push Mumbai Indians (eight points) behind. Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore all have six points apiece with the former occupying third spot on net run rate.

For the first time in the tournament any one of the top four Delhi batsmen failed to survive until 10 overs as Rajasthan gained upper hand in the game. Marcus Stoinis made a 30-ball 39 with four sixes before West Indian Shimron Hetmyer pushed upped the ante.

Shimron Hetmyer takes a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Rajasthan Royals skipper Steven Smith. PHOTO: BCCI/IPL

Hetmyer struck a 24-ball 45 and fell to young Kartik Tyagi while trying to hit the fast bowler for third consecutive sixes in the 17th over. Hetmyer’s innings included five sixes and a boundary. Harshal Patel (16) and Axar Patel (16) pushed Delhi beyond 180-run mark.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer (22) and Prithvi Shaw (19) were other notable contributors from the top order. Jofra Archer bowled superbly taking 3-24 from four overs for Rajasthan.

R Ashwin gave a desired breakthrough to Delhi removing Jos Buttler (13) in the third over before Steven Smith (24) and Yashasvi Jaiswal combined for a 41-run partnership. Smith fell to Anrich Nortje and Marcus Stoinis had new-man Sanju Samson (five) caught cheaply with both sent back by terrific catches from Hetmyer.

Jofra Archer returned the figures of 3-24 for Rajasthan. PHOTO: BCCI/IPL

Delhi continued to choke Rajasthan who went on to lose five wickets in a space of 28 runs beginning with the dismissal of Samson who now have gone through four consecutive matches without double figures.

Jaiswal had a slow start and made 34 from 36 hitting two sixes and a boundary before falling to Stoinis. Rahul Tewatia top scored for Rajasthan making 38 from 29 with three fours and two sixes.

Kagiso Rabada continued to pick up wickets in the tournament returning the figures of 3-35 on Friday, while Ashwin and Stoinis also had two scalps apiece for Delhi.

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