Friday, April 24, 2009

Delhi Dare Devils vs Chennai Super Kings

Sehwag won the toss for the Delhi DareDevils & elected to bat, as the sun shone bright at Kingsmead, Durban. However, the decision got a major blow on the face with ever reliable Gautam Gambhir nicking behind to Dhoni of the very first delivery of Balaji & then a little later, even Sehwag went out to the bowling of Manpreet Goni…DD were reeling at 8 for two, & arguably the best opening pair in the world today, was back in the pavilion with hardly any contribution to the total. However, next in Dilshan in company of AB de Villiers had other ideas, & they set to repair the early damage. The scoring was brisk, & Dilshan tore into the bowling getting to a brilliant 50 off just 27 deliveries, before getting out to Morkel. It had been a gem of an innings, & had CSK worried stiff before Dilshan holed out in an attempt to up the asking rate. Dinesh Karthik was next in & at the end of the strategy break, DD had reached a comfortable 90 for 3. Both Karthik & de Villiers kept the score book ticking after that with ones & twos, before Karthik lost his cool & holed out to Freddie in the deep off the bowling of Balaji. 114 for 4 at the end of the 14th over. Next man in was Manoj Tiwary, who has been on the fringes of the Indian National team for a while. Meanwhile, de Villiers kept steaming on, as he hit Freddie for a six. He also enjoyed a slice of luck as Morkel put down an absolute sitter, & de Villiers reached his 50 off just 34 deliveries. The hitting continued as Morkel gave away 14 runs in the next over followed by Gony who gave away 13 runs. Sixes & fours flowed as de Villiers looked unstoppable. Even Freddie gave away 22 runs, & the partnership had yielded 74 runs off just 5.5 overs, with Tiwary contributing only 9 runs. 100 for de Villiers came off just 51 deliveries, & though Tiwary got out in the last over of the innings, the Delhi Daredevils managed to score a total of 189 for 5. A brilliant performance, keeping in mind that Gautam & Sehwag had contributed almost nothing at the top. In this mayhem of batting, Balaji was the pick of the bowlers for CSK with figures of 3 for 19 off 4 overs. All others including Murali, Freddie, Gony & Morkel had been clobbered by Dilshan & de Villiers, who had registered the first century of this edition of IPL.
CSK had an uphill task ahead, & it meant a strong opening partnership. Hayden & Parthiv did just that, & the first over for DD by Nannes itself produced 11 runs. Nehra on the other end too started by giving away a boundary, & CSK were off to a rather brisk start. With Hayden continuing from where he had left last, 50 runs were on board in just the fifth over, & CSK looked well in course for the run chase. Parthiv got out for 16, caught by de Villiers off Sangwan & Raina was the next man in. Meanwhile, 50 for Hayden was a foregone conclusion & he achieved it in just 22 deliveries, as Salvi gave away 24 runs in the 7th over. In between Sangwan bowled a no ball, giving Raina the first free hit of the tournament, but Raina could not capitalize on the same & actually edged to Karthik. This must’ve disturbed the concentration of Hayden at the other end, & he top edged to long on for a simple catch to Nannes…..all this on the extra ball of the over…. Score read 91 for 2 & in walked Dhoni to a critical juncture of the match. By the end of the 10th over, CSK had reached 106 for 2, a healthy position, with both Raina & Dhoni occupying the crease. However, Dhoni failed to impress & was out edging Vettori to Karthik with just 5 runs to his name & in walked the big burly Flintoff. While Raina continued to score at a brisk pace, the match was evenly poised with CSK needing 51 runs of the last six overs, with 7 wickets in hand. However, Raina holed out the first ball of the 15th over in the deep to de Villiers(what a match he was having) off Sangwan, going out for 41 runs off 27 balls. In walked Albie Morkel. Meanwhile, Sangwan had been very impressive with the ball, picking up 3 wickets for just 28 runs off 4 overs. Nehra at the other end consumed the dangerous Flintoff, out to a catch at long off, & suddenly CSK were gasping for dear life. 34 runs needed of 24 deliveries, as Badrinath walked into the middle. Salvi, who had bowled poorly till now, came up & gave just 5 runs in his over. Now 29 needed off 18 deliveries, & nerves were jangling in both the camps. It certainly was a tight finish. Badrinath could not soak in the pressure at the centre & holed out to Warner at long off & Vettori had claimed one more wicket. Gony came in next & clubbed the first ball he faced for a towering six, but got run out in an effort to scamper a run. So final over with 15 to get & in walked Joginder Sharma, also known for batting, but he too got run out after adding 4 to the total. L Bala the next man in got out the very next delivery, & Morkel was left stranded at the other end.
Delhi Daredevils had snatched a remarkable win by 9 runs. A real tight match which went to the last ball. CSK had started in whirlwind fashion thanks to Hayden & till the 15 over, looked all set to chase the total, but the batsmen failed to take in the pressure & choked, letting Delhi Daredevils wrap up the match.

No guesses for the Man of the Match. It had to be AB de Villiers for his belligerent century & two catches in the deep. Hayden had of course won back the purple cap from Rahul today with his belligerent knock.

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