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Turning Point: Morris's attack stuns Delhi

By HARISH KOTIAN
April 16, 2021 07:27 IST
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Chris Morris

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Chris Morris hits a six. Photograph: BCCI
 

Chris Morris, the most expensive buy in IPL history, showed why the franchises were so desperate for his services with a match-turning performance with the bat to lift Rajasthan Royals to victory over Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Morris, who was bought for Rs 16.25 crore (Rs 162.5 million) at the IPL players auction in February, rallied an injury-depleted Rajasthan Royals to an unlikely three wicket victory with his late assault with the bat.

Earlier, he had struggled to make an impression with the ball, evens as team-mates Jaydev Unadkat (3/15) and Mustafizur Rahman (2/29) bowled their hearts out on a Wankhede wicket offering some assistance to the pacers to limit Delhi Capitals to 147/8 in their 20 overs.

Delhi bounced back courtesy their pacers. Chris Woakes struck twice in his second over with the wickets of Openers Manan Vohra (9) and Jos Buttler (2).

Kagiso Rabada, playing his first match in IPL 2021, struck a vital blow when he had Royals Captain Sanju Samson caught at slip for 4.

Fast bowler Avesh Khan's double strike (Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag) made things worse for the Royals, who slipped to a lowly 42/5.

David Miller, brought into the team in place of the injured Ben Stokes, showed his worth with a battling half-century.

He got the Royals innings back on track, putting on 48 runs for the sixth wicket with Rahul Tewatia (19). The South African brought up his half-century in grand style with a six off Avesh over square leg before clubbing another six off the next delivery.

Miller perished in the same over trying for another six, caught at long-on after a superb 62 from 43 balls.

With 27 needed from 2 overs for victory and all their top batsmen back in the hut, the stage looked set for Delhi Capitals to register their second win.

But Morris foiled DC's plans. He took on Delhi's best bowler and fellow South African Kagiso Rabada, hitting the first ball of the 19th over for a six over midwicket.

A few balls later, he picked up a full delivery from Rabada off his pads over fine leg, using the pace to good effect for a second six.

15 runs from the over brought Royals back in the running from a position of no hope.

Morris was nicely warmed up as he took apart Tom Curran in the final over. The slower bouncer was pulled for a six over square leg before he ended the game in grand style, hitting a full toss over the leg side for another maximum.

Delhi Capitals were left gasping by Morris's stunning attack as the tall right-hander hit four sixes in 10 balls, to smash a match-turning 36 not out from 18 balls.

Hopefully, Sanju Samson won't turn down the single the next time Morris is at the other end!

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021