Rajasthan Royals found their second bowling star in as many games to finish on the right side of a close contest against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday. 

Avesh Khan conceded just four runs in his brilliant final over to take the Royals to a 12-run win against the Capitals.

The Royals, after their initial setback, rode on Riyan Parag’s unbeaten 84 off just 45 balls to set the Capitals a target of 186. Avesh Khan, who started by conceding two boundaries from his first two balls last night, came back strongly to scuttle the Delhi chase.

David Warner was looking in good nick as the Capitals scored 10 off Avesh’s first over, the eighth of the innings. But Avesh removed Warner in his next over with a wide yorker, a ball he would go on to bowl with precision throughout the night to seal the game for the Royals.

Avesh gave away only 13 runs in his last two overs against the likes of big-hitting Tristan Stubbs and Axar Patel to emulate what Sandeep Sharma had done for the Royals in their IPL season-opener against Lucknow Super Giants.

The 27-year-old Avesh credited the performance against DC as one of his best final overs in terms of execution as he was able to bowl six balls in the same area, full and wide off the stumps. The pacer from Madhya Pradesh also credited the role of the team management in executing well-laid plans.

“The roles are very clear as in when you will bowl and the data team gives us a lot of information on oppositions on what balls to bowl,” Avesh explained. “Kumar Sangakkara (Director of Cricket and Head Coach) and Shane Bond (Assistant Coach and Fast Bowling Coach) support us well to back our plans and focus on execution. Even if it does not come out, they encourage us to correct them in the next game.

“It is the same with Sanju Samson as well, he gives us full freedom to set our fields and he is a bowler’s captain and it is great fun to play under them.”

Avesh Khan also heaped lavish praise on Riyan Parag who played a defining knock to ensure that the Royals bowlers had a good score to defend.

“Riyan played a sensible knock as we were three wickets down and had only 58 runs at the halfway stage,” Avesh pointed out. “The last over of the Royals’ batting, where Riyan scored 25 runs off Anrich Nortje, changed the course of the game. Initially, it was looking like a par score of 150, then (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Riyan put on that partnership to give a solid base.”

Avesh also mentioned that having experienced heads like Shane Bond and Trent Boult helps a lot in preparations and team meetings.

“Shane Bond and Trent Boult share their experiences during team meetings on what we should bowl, and what the data tells us,” he said. “They always back us to execute our plans. We have a good variety in our attack as Boult swings the new ball and bowls at the stumps, Nandre Burger has good pace, Sandeep Sharma uses one end cleverly and I try to bring in variations with the ball.”