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Royals stutter as top order struggle to fire

Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Paras Dogra contributed 60 runs in a 5th wicket partnership to help rescue the Rajasthan Royals who struggled with the bat against the Delhi DareDevils reaching a modest total of 141-6.

The Royals were put into bat by Gautam Gambhir and despite losing Swapnil Asnodkar (5) in the second over the home side made a positive start with Graeme Smith and Naman Ojha looking comfortable against the pace bowling of Dirk Nannes and Farveeez Maharoof.

Ojha burst into life in the 4th over smashing leg spinner Amit Mishra for three consecutive boundaries including a massive six over long-on to give the Royals a solid base to build on.

Mishra had other ideas though, after conceding 14 runs off his previous three balls he bounced back with a perfect googly which Ojha (24) completely miss-read allowing the ball to hit his middle stump as he attempted to hit a big cover drive.

The loss of Ojha brought danger man Yusuf Pathan to the wicket but he suffered a rare failure. Fresh from his incredible 37 ball century against the Mumbai Indians at the weekend Pathan (0) only lasted 5 balls before he found AB de Villiers out a mid-wicket to leave the Royals 46-3.

After such a good start the Royals innings threatened to grind to a halt with Smith and Jhunjhunwala finding runs hard to come by as the DareDevils increased the pressure.

Smith (18) was eventfully dismissed by Pradeep Sangwan to leave the Royals 50-4 but Jhunjhunwala, together with Dogra didnít panic building a important 60 run 5th wicket partnership which included two sixes off the bowling of Sarabjit Ladda.

Their partnership ended in the 16th over when Dogra was run out by Gambhir and then Dimitri Mascarenhas (3) suffered the same fate 5 balls later to leave the Royals 115-6.

Jhunjhunwala (53) continued his fine innings supported by Amit Uniyal (4) to help set the DareDevils a target of 142 for their second victory in this years IPL.

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