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Delhi Daredevils steamroll Pune Warriors India with captain Sehwag leading from the front
By IPL desk
Mumbai 24 April 2012
The Delhi Daredevils avenged their 20-run loss against the Pune Warriors India from a few nights ago by beating them at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. Thanks to this win, DD maintain their hold at the top of the points table. After restricting PWI to a below par score of 146, the Daredevils made light work of the target as they chased down the score in 16 overs for the loss of two wickets.
After winning the toss, and opting to bat first, Pune had a woeful start to their innings. Jesse Ryder played an Irfan Pathan delivery that kept low on to his stumps before he had scored a run in the very first over. In the next over, Sourav Ganguly (1), looking to blast the ball through the off side, thick-edged a Morne Morkel delivery straight in to the hands of Shahbaz Nadeem, standing at third man, to leave the Warriors at two for one in 1.2 overs.
Those two wickets brought Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey together. They helped revive the innings by taking the hosts to 53 for the loss of two wickets in 11 overs. Then with the innings in a dire need of a fillip, the two batsmen switched gears as they smashed the last nine overs for 93 runs.
Pandey got two extra lives during his innings, but made the most of those dropped catches as he powered his way to a 56-ball innings of 80*. Uthappa (60*) was equally feisty in the second half of the PWI innings. The batsman scooped Morne Morkel for two runs over short fine leg in the 18th over to bring up his second half-century score of the competition. The 145-run stand between the pair helped the home team to 146 for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs.
However, that total was never going to be enough for a batting line-up boasting the likes of Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene,Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor. Jayawardene struck a rapid 14-ball 18 and was run-out in a dreadful mix-up with Sehwag in the third over. Then, the DD skipper and Pietersen dominated the PWI attack with aplomb.
The pair shared an 89-run stand for the second wicket during which they hit Luke Wright, Ashish Nehra and Rahul Sharma over the boundary ropes, thus helping Delhi past the 100-run mark in just 10.1 overs. Pietersen (27) eventually fell to Sharma when he top-edged a delivery from the leg-spinner straight to Jesse Ryder at mid-on in the 12th over. However, with the captain leading from the front, DD brought up the winning score with a trademark Sehwag six off Sharma over long-on at the end of the 15th over. Scorecard
Man-of-the-match: Virender Sehwag for his match-winning 48-ball 87* (10x4; 3x6)
All-round Royal Challengers Bangalore hand Rajasthan Royals 46-run loss in their fortress
By IPL desk
Mumbai 23 April 2012
“Where is Chris Gayle?” That was the question on everyone’s mind when RCB were two wickets down and yet the Caribbean opener was nowhere to be seen. But when Tillakaratne Dilshan (76* off 58 balls) and AB de Villiers (59* off 23 balls) raked up a tornado, everyone forgot about the Gayle storm. The duo put on an unbeaten 122-run partnership off 50 balls to breach the Rajasthan Royals’ fortress by 46 runs.
The only positive that came out of RR’s unsuccessful chase of 190 runs was Rahul Dravid’s (58 off 42 balls) delightful batting. The legendary ‘Test batsman’ pushed the accelerator without taking the class off his batting. Most of his eight boundaries came off immaculately timed cover drives.
There were a couple of flicks over the midwicket and some fine pull shots as well. However, KP Appanna got the great man caught at the extra-cover in the 14th over to bring an end to the joy that was Dravid.
Appanna, the 23-year-old left-arm spinner, had the game of his life. He capped the memorable moment of dismissing a batsman of Dravid’s class with his best Twenty20 figures. One look at his other victims – the in-form Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah, and even Shreevats Goswami – and the significance of his four for 19 goes several notches higher.
When Harshal Patel got rid of Brad Hodge in the 15th over, the hosts had lost all their in-form batsmen and also the hope of a victory. No one with the exception of captain Dravid went past the 20-run mark as the Royals finished their 20 overs at 143 for seven.
Inserted in to bat by Dravid, RCB were 67 for three after 12 overs, having lost Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal and Gayle. Brad Hogg did the damage by removing Agarwal and wrapping the dangerous Gayle on his pads. Pankaj Singh provided the first breakthrough by getting the out-of-sorts Kohli out caught in the deep. Brad Hodge held two catches even as most of his teammates had an off day in the field.
Opening the batting, Dilshan took time to get into rhythm as the ball did a bit in the first six overs. But he hung on nevertheless before unleashing a streak of ‘Dilscoops’ to stun the RR bowlers. de Villiers joined the party with his now-famous reverse sweeps. While Dilshan was scoring big on the four-o-meter (he hit 10 fours and a six), de Villiers preferred to clear the ropes with heaves over midwicket, smashing five sixes and three fours. Thanks to the duo, none of RR’s bowlers could manage to keep their economy-rate below seven.