17th May 2009 – Goodyear Park, Bloemfontein : Rajasthan Royals have got into an uncomfortable position where they not only need to win against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their last encounter, but also hope that a few results go in their way to qualify for the semi-finals. This position has come about because of their 14-run loss to the Delhi Daredevils at Bloemfontein.
The Daredevils won the toss and choose to bat but lost their openers to Munaf Patel who had an outstanding opening spell. However, the pillars of the Daredevils middle order, DeVilliers and Dilshan, stitched a methodical 87-run partnership to get the Delhi total to a respectable one.
However, with wickets in hand and Devilliers having completed a fifty, Delhi looked to accelerate and do it big time. Devilliers had an important respite when Quiney couldn’t latch on to a skier after covering a mile. Karthik (23 of 11) also joined the party and the duo were severe on Munaf as he went for 25 in the 19th over. With 46 runs of the last 3 overs, the course of the match changed and the Royals chased 150 instead of may be something in the region of 130.
The Royals lost their openers for not too many and Ojha followed for a painful 9 off 17-balls. Johan Botha, promoted up the order, held the innings well and along with Jadeja (24 off 18) put up a respectable fight. Their brisk stand of 55 came in under 6 overs. The Royals were banking on the miraculous Pathan show where he tore the Delhi attack in the previous encounter between the two sides, but that wasn’t to be the case. Thereafter, there weren’t any significant partnerships and the Royals slumped to 107 at the end of the 17th over.
Munaf tried to make amends and hit 25 (10b, 5x4s) in a late assault to do some damage control. However, the efforts couldn’t prevent a 14-run loss that may have been a win if the Royals restricted the Daredevils to a target of 130-135. DeVilliers was the MoM for his batting display and Mishra was the pick of the bowlers taking 3/33.