Dwayne Bravo put on a great exhibition of big-hitting against Mumbai Indians when he scored a match-winning 68 off just 30 balls.
However, in Chennai Super Kings‘ second match, the Trinidadian was on the receiving end of some fine slogging from Andre Russell.
Kolkata Knight Riders batted first and struggled to get going. They needed to accelerate at the death and Russell was just the man for the job.
In the 16th over, he really went after Bravo and on one occasion, launched a massive strike out of the stadium. The six travelled 105 metres and forced the umpires to call for another ball.
He really put Bravo to the sword in the 18th over when he smashed the first three balls for six, the first of which hit the roof again, but this knocking back in off the advertising board.
Russell hit a remarkable 88 off just 36 balls, including 11 sixes, to power KKR to a total of 202/6.
Returning after a two-year suspension from the competition, the Royals have not played at their ‘home’ ground since 2013.
Both sides come into the game on the back of defeats in their opening matches and will be keen to get their first points on the board for 2018.
Having been thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, the Royals will take comfort from their excellent record at ‘fortress SMS’ where they have won a staggering 24 of their 33 IPL matches at a win-rate of 72.73.
Having had to cope with the loss of Steve Smith – the only player they retained heading into the season – Royals will want a more significant contribution from their overseas stars like D’Arcy Short, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler who were all abject in defeat to Hyderabad.
On the other hand, Delhi Daredevils first outing under skipper Gautam Gambhir did not go to plan as KL Rahul’s record fifty steered Kings XI Punjab to victory. This will be their second successive match on the road but they will be bolstered by the arrival of Liam Plunkett as a late replacement for the injured Kagiso Rabada.
PLAYERS IN FOCUS
In their loss to Hyderabad, the Royals did not include star-man Jofra Archer in the line-up which could have something to do with the injury he suffered in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). They will be hoping that the West Indies-born man can recover in time for the clash as he provides a greater degree of balance to the squad.
The most expensive IPL signing this year in Ben Stokes failed to deliver the goods in their campaign opener and he will be keen to prove his worth to the franchise on Wednesday.
For the Daredevils, Blackcaps opener Colin Munro was dismissed cheaply in the loss to Kings XI but the left-hander remains one of the most dangerous batsmen in the T20 format. If he gets going at the top for Delhi, it might not matter how far the boundary ropes are placed at the SMS stadium.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (C), D’Arcy Short, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jos Buttler (Wk), K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.
Delhi Daredevils: Colin Munro, Gautam Gambhir (C), Shreyas Iyer, Vijay Shankar, Rishab Pant (Wk), Rahul Tewatia, Daniel Christian, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami.
Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon revealed his frustration after announcing David Willey has signed for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
The big-hitting left-arm seam bowler has been parachuted in after an injury to India’s Kedar Jadhav and joins White Rose and England limited-overs team-mate Liam Plunkett as a late replacement.
Plunkett was last weekend snapped up by Delhi Daredevils, coming in for Kagiso Rabada, and Moxon admitted the late call-ups are far from ideal for Yorkshire, who begin their County Championship campaign against Essex this Friday.
Moxon said: “We find ourselves in an impossible situation with these late replacement requests.
“At the moment, we are potentially looking at a situation where if we deny a player an opportunity, we will be left with someone who is not completely focused on playing for Yorkshire. This would be counter-productive.
“I will be chairing a meeting with other directors of cricket tomorrow at Edgbaston to discuss the future of the game. With the number of domestic T20 contracts available worldwide, it is important that we future-proof the County Championship. I will be calling for the introduction of a cut-off date, after which players will not be allowed to go to the IPL. Hopefully this can gain national approval and be supported by the ECB.”
— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) 9 April 2018