Steve Smith’s horror slump in the Indian Premier League has continued, with the Australian batsman dismissed for one against the Delhi Capitals on Thursday morning AEDT.
After the Rajasthan Royals were set a target of 162 for victory, Smith walked to the crease at Dubai International Cricket Stadium with his side 1/37 after three overs.
However, the 31-year-old made his way back to the pavilion the very next over after chipping a simple catch back to Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.
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It was Smith’s fifth single-figures score from his last six innings in the IPL. Since plundering a half-century against the King XI Punjab in September, the Royals skipper has scored 3, 5, 6, 24, 5 and 1.
Steve Smith in his last six #IPL2020 matches:
3 v #DC
5 v #SRH
24 v #DC
6 v #MI
5 v #RCB
3 v #KKR
The Rajasthan Royals eventually lost the match by 13 runs, with Ricky Ponting’s Capitals moving to top spot on the IPL ladder.
“We are not in a great position, are we? We have got to quickly move on and come back with a big game in three days’ time,” Smith conceded after the match.
“On a slow wicket, it is difficult to make up runs in the end. Guys kept getting in and kept getting out, and not making 60-odd to see us through.”
Meanwhile, South African quick Anrich Nortje clocked the fastest ball of the Indian Premier League at 156.22 km/h and claimed two key wickets.
Nortje bowled England’s Jos Buttler for 22 and removed Robin Uthappa for 32 as Royals faltered in their chase of 162.
Anrich Nortje after dismissing Jos Buttler. Photo: Twitter/@BCCISource:Twitter
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Nortje, who was ably supported by fellow Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada, consistently bowled at over 145km/h through his four overs of fearsome pace in a match, while Royals quick Jofra Archer returned figures of 3/19.
Rabada, who took one wicket to stay top of the IPL bowlers chart with 18 scalps in eight games, was all praise for his pace partner, who was picked by Delhi Capitals as replacement for Chris Woakes ahead of the virus-hit season.
“He is a real fast bowler and I can learn some technical stuff from him. I have some experience which I can tell him about,” Rabada said.
“Really happy for him, but not happy for the batter. When we play we only think about the delivery and not about the speed gun.”
Although Delhi has reclaimed top spot in the eight-team IPL table with six wins from eight games, second-placed Mumbai Indians have played just seven matches.
Smith will look to rediscover his mojo when Rajasthan take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai on Saturday evening AEDT.
— with AFP
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