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Dilshan Heroics Take Delhi Daredevils Home

By on April 30, 2009

Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils 150 for 4 (Dilshan 52*, Karthik 41, Shaoib 2-20) beat Deccan Chargers 148 for 9 (Smith 48, Nannes 2-16) by six wickets…

How they were out

Tournament favourites Delhi Daredevils turned in a thoroughly professional performance in the clash of the heavyweights at SuperSport Park, handing Deccan Chargers their first defeat of the tournament. Tillakaratne Dilshan yet again proved why he’s worth the bucks with an unbeaten fifty to steer his team to the target of 149 and he was supported by Dinesh Karthik, who finally realized his potential with the bat after a disappointing season last year. Delhi rocked the boat by pegging back Deccan’s top order and after a relatively minor wobble of their own, got home with more than an over to spare.

A mid-innings assault by Dwayne Smith was the difference between a poor start and a par score of 148 for 9 for the Deccan Chargers against the Delhi Daredevils at SuperSport Park. The strategic time-out after ten overs has often worked against the batting team in this tournament but for a change the reverse happened. Deccan looked out of sorts at 55 for 4 with the Delhi spinners bowling in tandem before Smith ransacked them with 48 off 28 balls. Delhi did well to restrict them under 150 and would have been the more satisfied outfit at the break.

Deccan’s in-form top-order batsman have helped the side fasten its grip on the points table but they let themselves down. At 19 for 2, Deccan had recorded their worst start in the IPL and the mantle of building the innings was left to the middle order.

Adam Gilchrist began the innings in earnest with a thundering loft and a drive past point off Dirk Nannes but the bowler quickly had his revenge, getting him to mis-hit a pull in the first over. He managed a lot of nip and bounce at raw pace, and the shorter deliveries just zipped past the outside edge. He dropped a fuller one to Herschelle Gibbs and that fetched him a wicket as Gibbs chipped one tamely to mid-off.

Rohit Sharma looked comfortable against the seamers, swiveling and pulling Pradeep Sangwan and when spin was introduced in the seventh over, he looked like he would get on top of it as well. Amit Mishra dropped it a bit short, looking for spin and curbing Rohit’s charge and he had the last laugh when Rohit sliced a top spinner to deep extra cover. Azharuddin Bilakhia, who added 33 with Rohit, was then trapped in front of a straighter one from Daniel Vettori and Deccan were in desperate need of a partnership.

Smith took little time to settle and seemed determined to ruin the spinners’ figures. Vettori was the first to suffer when Smith picked him for three successive fours. He swept him hard, benefited off a misfiled by Ashish Nehra at deep point and then pulled to square leg. Even Mishra wasn’t spared as Smith pulled him flat over deep square-leg and then lofted over long-on for consecutive sixes.

Curiously, another spinner, Tillakaratne Dilshan, was brought on to replace Vettori and there was no respite for him either. Smith’s confidence rubbed off on T Suman, the IPL debutant, who cracked a four and a six over the off side to strengthen Deccan’s recovery. Deccan scored 51 off three overs and the balance had shifted.

Smith regularly made room to hit the seamers with powerful bottom-hand shots but ultimately fell to an inside-out loft over the covers off Nehra. Venugopal Rao made a breezy 16 and even though Deccan’s total was not exactly a safe score, it was reasonable given the position after 10 overs.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

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