Questions have often been asked about the high price that Rajasthan Royals paid for Jaydev Unadkat. On Thursday night, however, he came up with a priceless performance in his first game of IPL 14.
His sensational spell with the new ball broke the back of the formidable Delhi Capitals batting line-up at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. And it was another expensive player – Chris Morris, the most expensive in IPL history – that got Royals home by three wickets with an unbeaten 36 off 18 balls.
Morris, Miller sizzle
Chasing 148, Rajasthan needed 12 runs were off the last over. Morris finished off in style, pulling Tom Curran over deep square leg. It was a remarkable effort from Morris after Royals was pegged back by some splendid seam bowling from Chris Woakes, Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan.
It took a fighting knock from David Miller (62, 43b, 7×4, 2×6) to repair the damage. He eventually perished going for a third successive six against Avesh, leaving Royals 44 to get off 25 balls. Morris, his compatriot, took over.
After the twin loss on Tuesday — the close defeat to Punjab Kings and Ben Stokes’s injury — the men in pink could not have hoped for a better comeback.
Unadkat on a roll
Disciplined bowling and splendid fielding saw the Capitals batsmen struggle after being put in. Remarkably, there wasn’t a single six in Delhi’s innings.
Capitals lost the wicket of in-form Prithvi Shaw to the last ball of the second over. He tried to hit a slower ball from Unadkat across the line through the leg side and gave catching practice to Miller at backward point, the man who replaced Stokes in the playing XI.
Off his next ball, Unadkat removed the other half of Capitals’ opening pair that had set up the team’s win against Chennai Super Kings with a century-partnership. It took a stunning catch from Sanju Samson to send Shikhar Dhawan back, the wicket-keeper leaping towards his right to gather Dhawan’s attemped ramp one-handedly.
Unadkat nearly had a hat-trick, but Rishabh Pant played and missed one that moved away. In his next over, however, the Saurashtra pacer caught Ajinkya Rahane off his bowling.
It took Delhi a 31-ball 52 from Pant to reach a modest score. The wicketkeeper-batsman was run out by Riyan Parag off his bowling.