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Delhi Daredevils 142 for 4 (Sehwag 75) beat Rajasthan Royals 141 for 6 (Jhunjhunwala 53*) by six wickets

A disciplined performance by the Delhi Daredevils bowlers and a blistering innings from Virender Sehwag inflicted a dispiriting defeat on Rajasthan Royals, their second in as many games, in Ahmedabad. The only highlight for Rajasthan was a batting half-century from Abhishek Jhunjhunwala which took them to a respectable total, but it was rendered woefully inadequate in the wake of an unforgiving onslaught from Sehwag.

Rajasthan Royals 141 for 6 (Jhunjhunwala 53*) v Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils delivered a combined effort with the ball to limit Rajasthan Royals to 141 for 6, giving themselves an excellent chance of making it two in two in the tournament. Rajasthan's attacking start was dented by a testing first spell by Dirk Nannes and the early introduction of Amit Mishra, leaving an inexperienced middle order to contend with the disciplined Delhi attack who gave them little opportunity to open up. Abhishek Jhunjhunwala brought up his maiden IPL fifty, but facing a batting line-up comprising the most prolific batsmen in international cricket today, and the dew likely to do its bit, Rajasthan have reason to worry.

The conditions in Ahmedabad were hardly favourable with the dust from the parking lots surrounding the stadium kicking in, and adding to the haze from the floodlights. The surge of moths, flying across the pitch as well as the outfield, proved another irritant.

Rajasthan, who were wearing black arm-bands in memory of the victims of a bus accident in the city of Sawai Madhopur, began positively. Swapnil Asnodkar and Graeme Smith, cashing in on some overpitched bowling from Farveez Maharoof, dispatched two boundaries off the first three balls of the match.

Nannes, however, continued to trouble the batsmen with his ability go generate bounce, even from bowling on a good length. He got rid of Asnodkar with his second delivery, which was sliced towards Tillakaratne Dilshan who took a good low catch, and followed up with two snorters to Naman Ojha, one striking him on the shoulder.

Ojha, who had some success while opening the batting for Rajasthan in the previous IPL, resumed the surge after a momentary lull, thrashing Maharoof over mid-on and edging him over the slips. He reserved special treatment for Mishra, brought on in the fourth over, cutting and sweeping him for two boundaries and launching him into the stands over long-on. But Mishra undid him with his first variation of the over, slipping in the googly to bowl him through the gate as he tried to loft him over the covers.

Yusuf Pathan, playing in his home state, walked in to big cheers but lasted just five deliveries as he mistimed a pull to long-on off Maharoof after failing to pick the slower one. With their trump card exiting early, and the experienced Smith following soon after to make it 54 for 4, Rajasthan were starting at a below-par total.

Paras Dogra, who partnered Yusuf during his ruthless ton against Mumbai, and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, returning from the ICL, saw off a quiet phase during a nagging couple of overs from Pradeep Sangwan and Sarabjit Ladda; Rajasthan, at one stage, had played out 38 deliveries without a boundary. Replacing Yo Mahesh, Ladda varied his pace well, often surprising the batsmen with the quicker delivery but had his figures disturbed when the pair had stepped up, both smashing him over long-on in a 17-run over.

Delhi saw to it they didn't give too much away, with the run-outs of Dogra and Dimitri Mascarenhas in successive overs. But Jhunjhunwala struck two boundaries off Nannes in the final over, reaching his half-century in the process, to take Rajasthan to a respectable total.

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