Deepak Hooda got to his fifty off 22 balls © IANS
Deepak Hooda got to his fifty off 22 balls © IANS

Rajasthan Royals (RR) have beaten the Delhi Daredevils (DD) by three wickets in the sixth match of the IPL 2015. The match had all the ingredients of a nail-biting encounter and it went down to the very last ball. Deepak Hooda was the star performer for the Royals, scoring a quickfire fifty at a crucial time and it is. Live Scorecard: Delhi Daredevils vs Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals didn’t have an ideal start to their innings as both Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson failed to get the ball away early on. The Delhi Daredevils fast bowlers kept it tight early on and the batsmen struggled to score runs. Samson finally succumbed to the pressure and was dismissed for just 11 runs off 12 balls. FULL SCORECARD

Rahane fought the early rustiness and started scoring more freely later on, however at no point did he get consistent support at the other end. Steven Smith, the skipper was dismissed for 10 runs. Karun Nair came in to the middle next and he looked very good but just when he had built a perfect platform to launch he was done in by an Amit Mishra wrong one. LIVE BLOG: Delhi Daredevils vs Rajasthan Royals

Stuart Binny failed badly and put only one run on the board before getting out to Imran Tahir. The spinners did a fine job for the Daredevils in the middle overs; not only did they maintain a chokehold but also picked important wickets. Mishra picked the wickets of Steven Smith and Karun Nair, while Tahir got Binny’s wicket. DD Spinners dismiss Karun Nair, Stuart Binny in quick succession

Rahane worked his way to a steady 47 but then attempted to hit Tahir big over long on but was bowled instead. Deepak Hooda, was the bright spark for the Royals however. He took some time to set himself in but once he got going the boundaries came fast and quick; he got to his fifty off 22 balls. With Tahir’s wicket, he was joined by Faulkner and there was still a lot of hope for Royals even though the required run rate had climbed to more than 11.

Hooda got out in the penultimate over to become Tahir’s third victim, at that point RR still needed 13 off 11 balls but Chris Morris came and whacked the very next ball for six. However, Tahir soon had his revenge when he dismissed Faulkner a few balls later to make it more difficult for the Royals.

The match went down to the very last ball, with RR requiring three off the final ball but Tim Southee became hero as he smashed a yorker through covers for four.

Earlier DD scored 184 for three on the back of a team effort. They were taken off to a brilliant start by Mayank Agarwal early in the innings. He was aggressive right from the onset and took on the Rajasthan Royals bowling attack consisting Tim Southee, Chris Morris and Dhawal Kulkarni. His wicket was finally taken by spinner Pravin Tambe who continues to impress despite his age.

His wicket didn’t make DD’s innings slow down considerably however. Shreyas Iyer took the cue after Agarwal’s wicket and started smashing boundaries and sixes. He fell for 40 runs off 30 balls to Morris, thanks to a subtle variation in pace. The bowlers pulled their act together a little bit after that.

Iyer’s wicket brought out Yuvraj Singh to the crease. He looked rusty early on but he slowly started getting into his element and smashed a few emphatic boundaries. JP Duminy at the other end played a few great strokes himself and the duo soon got on top of the attack. After the 15th over the batsmen decided to go ballistic.

Yuvi smashed Faulkner for a couple of straight sixes and finally he got out or 27 off 17 in attempt to pull a Morris short ball, which he top edged. Karun Nair is the man who took a brilliant catch at deep square leg to dismiss Yuvraj. After that, Sri Lankan all-rounder walked out to the middle for the first time in the IPL 2015.

In the bowling department, Morris came back brilliantly after the poor over in the early overs. Faulkner remained quite ineffective, he went for more than 50 runs in his quota of 4 overs. He came close to taking the crucial wicket of Mathews but was undone by a dropped catch by Ajinkya Rahane.

Mathews took full advantage of the situation and smashed a six and a four after that to add to Faulkner’s misery. Duminy played anchor in the innings, making sure that his partners could play their natural games. Ultimately it was a team effort that took Delhi Daredevils to 184 for three.

Brief Scores:

Delhi Daredevils 184 for three in 20 overs (JP Duminy 44*, Shreyas Iyer 40; Chris Morris 2 for 35) lost to Rajasthan Royals 186 for seven in 20 overs (Deepak Hooda 54, Ajinkya Rahane 47; Imran Tahir 4 for 28) by three wickets

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)