Delhi on top of IPL after strangling Rajasthan by 46 runs

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SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Shimron Hetmyer blasted 45 runs and took two stunning catches in the deep to lead Delhi Capitals past Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs in the Indian Premier League on Friday.

Delhi put up 184-8 then strangled Rajasthan to have the match well in hand with more than seven overs left. Rajasthan fell to 82-5 after 12.1 overs and was all out for 138 with two balls left.

“We thought this might be an under-par total but the bowlers did their job,” Delhi's Shreyas Iyer said.

A third straight win lifted Delhi to the top of the table, while Rajasthan suffered a fourth straight defeat and will welcome Ben Stokes coming out of quarantine this weekend.

Delhi managed to score well while losing wickets regularly.

Jofra Archer removed Shikhar Dhawan on 5 in his first over and Prithvi Shaw on 19 in his second.

Iyer, 22 runs, and Rishabh Pant, 5, ran themselves out, but Marcus Stoinis was leading with three sixes off spinner Shreyas Gopal.

Stoinis made 39 off 30 balls when he top-edged Rahul Tewatia, who was rewarded for tying down his former teammates and finished with a sterling 1-20 off his four overs.

But Tewatia’s departure loosened up Hetmyer, who smacked 45 off 24 balls including five sixes and a boundary.

Axar Patel added 17 at the end beside Harshal Patel with 16, and Archer’s excellent death bowling earned him 3-24.

Rajasthan’s plan for Yashasvi Jaiswal to anchor the chase and the big names to do their stuff didn’t pan out.

Jos Buttler was out hitting to square leg on 13 in Ravichandran Ashwin’s first over, and Steve Smith was out on 24 hitting to midwicket, where Hetmyer made a forward diving catch.

Meanwhile, Jaiswal was wasting balls, and his only big hits in the first 10 overs were two sixes.

The pressure to get going cost Sanju Samson against part-timer Stoinis in the 11th over.

Mahipal Lomror was out on 1 to Ashwin, who bowled out with 2-22 and Rajasthan 82-4 after 12 overs, still needing 103 to win.

Jaiswal was dismissed in the 13th, swinging and missing at Stoinis for a paltry 34 off 36 balls.

Rajasthan’s inevitable end was highlighted by another diving catch by Hetmyer to see off Gopal.

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