Ashwin’s maiden half-century lifts RR to 160-6

Ravichandran Ashwin hit his maiden fifty in the IPL as Rajasthan Royals posted a modest total of 160 for 6 against Delhi Capitals at the DY Patil Stadium here on Wednesday. Ashwin, promoted to No.3 at the early fall of in-form opener Jos Buttler, made 50 in 38 balls with the help of four fours and two sixes. At the time of going to press, DC were 38-1 in six overs.

Ashwin featured in the two highest stands as he put on 43 runs for the second wicket with Yashaswi Jaiswal (19) and 53 in 36 balls for the third wicket with left-handed batsman Devdutt Padikkal, who made 48 in 30 balls that included two sixes and six fours. For Delhi, the wickets were shared equally by Chetan Sakariya, Anrich Nortje and Mitchell Marsh.

Delhi struck a huge blow early in the RR innings by dismissing Buttler, who went into the match with 618 runs to his credit, for seven in the third over. Buttler drove left arm-medium pacer Sakariya on the up to Shardul Thakur at long on with only 11 on the board.

Ashwin joined Jaiswal and used the field restrictions in  the Powerplay to quicken the rate of scoring. He first struck Thakur for two fours in the fifth over and then hit Axar Patel for a four to point. He lofted the left-arm bowler over long-on for a six in the sixth over. Marsh and left-arm wrist spinner Kuleep Yadav put the brakes on the scoring. RR were 68 for 2 at the halfway stage. Ashwin completed his maiden fifty with a single in 37 balls, but departed in the next over.

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