Sharjah sixes to help the Royals

Based on current form, it seems like a mis-match. One team in great shape and sitting tight on eight points from ten, whilst the other has lost their last three. Match 23 of this year’s Dream11 Indian Premier League sees the Delhi Capitals take on the Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah.

A return to the historic scene

The one thing that could boost the confidence of the Rajasthan batsmen is the fact that they are returning to the ground where they made history earlier on in the competition. Sharjah always brings plenty of runs due to their small boundaries and the return to the ground where they secured the record for the highest run chase in IPL history could be the confidence boost they need. The Royals have been reduced to 31-3 and 12-3 in their last two matches, which has put them behind the pace from the outset, so will be keen to get off to a better start in this one.

With the ball last time out, captain Steve Smith has been criticised for not giving his seamers the new ball. His quickest and arguably most dangerous weapon Jofra Archer didn’t bowl until the fifth over against the Mumbai Indians, as they cruised to 57-0 from their powerplay. It is something that Mumbai demonstrated well in response, sharing the new ball between Boult, Bumrah and Pattinson as they reduced Rajasthan to 31-3 from their powerplay. Despite that, the Royals gave a debut to India U19 star Kartik Tyagi and he looked right at home, picking up the wicket of Quinton de Kock.

The dark side of cricket

Most of the talk following the Delhi Capitals win over Royal Challengers Bangalore surrounds professional wind up merchant Ravi Ashwin and the art of the ‘Mankad.’ Ashwin looked to give non-striker Aaron Finch a warning before removing the bails with him backing up. Aswin has previous, after he did failed to give Jos Buttler a warning last year and subsequently divided opinion in the cricketing community. Buttler will need to keep his bat grounded as Ashwin has tweeted to say he will be giving anymore warnings this year.

Aside from the commotion, Delhi put in another strong performance to beat RCB by 59 runs. Shaw and Dhawan set a good foundation at the top, allowing Marcus Stoinis (53*) and Rishabh Pant (37) to score quickly at the end of the innings. The pair will be licking their lips to return to Sharjah, where scores of 200 are seen as below par.

With the ball, Kagiso Rabada has shown why he is so feared around the world for his skill and blistering pace. The South African has picked up 12 wickets so far, and took 4-24 last time out, the first bowler to take four wickets in a match this year.

Match Tip

Whilst I don’t see them as favourites to win the match, one thing Rajasthan do well is hit maximums. The top six hitter in the tournament is Sanju Samson and if he carries on his form with the likes of Buttler, Smith and Archer it could be raining sixes.

I am backing Rajasthan Royals to hit more than 12.5 sixes against the Delhi Capitals at 1.83 with bet365.

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