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IPL 2012 – DD vs DC: Warner, Ojha Swat Aside Deccan

By on May 10, 2012

Delhi Daredevils 193 for 1 (Warner 109*, Ojha 64*) beat Deccan Chargers 187 for 4 (Dhawan 84, White 65) by nine wickets…

Even 187 wasn’t enough to push Deccan Chargers’ inexperienced bowling attack to pull off a surprise win against Delhi Daredevils. David Warner filled the vacuum left by Kevin Pietersen with a blistering century – his second in the IPL – in only his second game of the season. With a little help from Naman Ojha, Daredevils butchered their way back to No.1, overhauling the target with 20 balls to spare.

Chargers risked fielded a bowling attack without foreign players, the most experienced being Amit Mishra. It was a recipe for a mauling. There was no respite even at the other end as the promising Ojha capitalised on his promotion, hitting five sixes in his 64. The pair overshadowed a similar performance by another Indo-Australian left-right duo earlier in the evening, by Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White.

Daredevils’ response was so swift and intimidating that Virender Sehwag’s early departure was a distant memory. Sehwag tried to make a mockery of the decision to open the bowling with Dhawan by lofting the first ball of the chase to long-off. A similar attempt off the second ball resulted in a top edge that swirled to point as White held a well-judged catch running backwards.

It was the only memorable bit of fielding from Chargers. The familiar misfields reflected on another flat performance in the field, completely out of synch with the batting performance. Warner hit two forceful boundaries to take 16 off the opening over and set the tone for the rest of the chase.

Warner proceeded to expose the lack of depth and experience among the bowlers, one that should serve as a lesson for the franchise before the next trading window. TP Sudhindra, back after warming the bench for over a month, gave away 13 off his first over. Ashish Reddy, one of the impressive newcomers this season for Chargers, had his confidence dented with a 20-run opening over. Two consecutive short balls were pounded by Warner over cover and deep square-leg respectively. When he pitched it full, he was spanked through the off side.

Manpreet Gony was the only bowler to return with respectable figures. Mishra, the most experience, went for an embarassing 44 off four. Twenty-six of those runs came off Ojha, who used his feet to smash two sixes down the ground.

Warner, who looked below his best on the more sluggish pitches in the West Indies, was at home here with the ball coming onto the bat. He played his trademark pulls, including the one that brought up his century. Their stand of 189 was the second-best in the IPL, behind Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh’s 206 for Kings XI Punjab last year.

The 126 between Dhawan and White wasn’t lacking in quality though. The pair shrugged off a relatively slow first half with power hitting in the last nine overs to give their loyal fans something to cheer for. The partnership featured audacious shots like the Dilscoop and the paddle sweep interspersed with powerful straight hits and muscled sixes over deep midwicket.

Dhawan was particularly strong over the on side, fetching consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and raced to his fifty with consecutive straight hits off Irfan Pathan.

When the slower bowlers tossed it up, Dhawan hammered them over the on side; when Morne Morkel aimed at the base of the stumps, he strolled across his stumps and paddled him over the helpless short fine leg fielder. A century was there for the taking against a stunned bowling attack, but it took a brilliant fielding effort from Nadeem, effecting a direct hit from behind square leg to catch Dhawan a mile out of his crease.

White, who had earlier brought up the century stand with a six over deep midwicket off Nadeem, holed out to a top edge in the final over. Chargers, in the last nine overs, plundered 117 runs. Unfortunately, their bowlers failed to back that effort.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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