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IPL 2010 – Deccan Chargers vs Delhi Daredevils: Deccan Resist Gutsy Collingwood To Reach Semis

By on April 18, 2010

Deccan Chargers 145 for 7 (Symonds 54) v Delhi Daredevils 134 for 7 (Collingwood 51*) by 11 runs…

They were the IPL’s nomads, they needed to win five games in a row to reach the semi-finals, and things looked heavily loaded against them. But Deccan Chargers, the defending champions, made it. On a slow pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla, Andrew Symonds’ sparkling 54 gave Deccan a defendable total, which they protected with an inspired fielding performance led by Rohit Sharma and disciplined bowling. Paul Collingwood kept Delhi in the chase until the end but he lacked the firepower, and support, to pull off a victory.

It came to 17 runs from the final over but Chaminda Vaas sealed Delhi’s fate with a fine over, mixing his slower ones with near-perfect yorkers. Deccan had earlier wobbled at the start before the Symonds show and slowed to a crawl post his fall to reach 145 for 7. It was a slightly slow pitch, better than the previous tracks in Feroz Shah Kotla though, and the chase was unlikely to be a stroll for Delhi. And it wasn’t.

Rohit, who didn’t contribute much with the bat, took couple of breathtaking catches to tilt the game Deccan’s way. He flew very low to his right at first slip to grab a high-quality catch to remove Virender Sehwag. A short while later he flung himself to his left at short midwicket to get rid of Gautam Gambhir. It’s tempting to solely focus on Rohit but both half-chances that he converted were created by some good bowling. Chaminda Vaas had deceived Sehwag, who had just creamed couple of boundaries, with a slower off cutter and Pragyan Ojha had beaten Gambhir in the flight, forcing him to drag it much squarer than he had originally intended. Just before Gambhir, Tillakaratne Dilshan had fallen, trying to paddle scoop but was done in by the slower one from Harmeet Singh, who had delivered the ball as if he were a legspinner bowling a skidding slider.

The triple strike had nearly derailed the chase and considering Paul Collingwood’s recent struggles this IPL against spin, Delhi depended heavily on Dinesh Karthik if they were to turn things around. When Gambhir fell the equation read 107 from 82 and when Mithun Manhas was run out after a misunderstanding with Collingwood, Delhi needed 78 from 49 deliveries. It was at this point Karthik entered the fray but he didn’t last long as he was done in by Ojha. It landed on the middle and off and turned just enough to go past the lame poke to peg back the off stump. It was the shot that sealed the fate of Delhi. Collingwood hanged around for a while and was even dropped couple of times by, of all the people, Rohit and Symonds but couldn’t finish it off.

It was indeed an inspired bowling performance from Deccan but if it weren’t for a superbly-crafted knock from Symonds, the bowlers would not have had anything to defend. Deccan solely depended on Symonds. The story of their innings was summarised after the first time-out in the tenth over. Amit Mishra bowled with a slip and a silly point to the new batsman Mitchell Marsh, but when Symonds came on strike most fielders were back patrolling the boundary. Delhi were on the attack and knew only one man posed a threat. Marshall preserved his wicket and allowed Symonds to play a fine knock.

Initially, Symonds reserved all his aggression for Amit Mishra: It was a fine battle because Mishra troubled him with his googlies, which Symonds picked only off the pitch, but he would time and again counterattack with a muscled hit. He moved down the track to lift a leg break over long-off, followed it by biffing a googly into the same stand and slugged a flighted delivery from outside off over long-on. In between, he edged a legbreak between the keeper and first slip and just when Mishra was seemingly on the ascent, Symonds would break free.

He crashed Tillakaratne Dilshan’s offbreaks for two sixes and even played a delicate late cut against Paul Collingwood to collect a boundary. Deccan had reached 116 for 4 in the 15th over and things were set for a final assault when Symonds fell. Mishra had just switched to bowling from round the stumps to Symonds and had his man chipping straight to long off. Delhi applied the squeeze from then on, just as they had done in the first half of the game, but the total proved beyond their reach.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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