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IPL desk in Mumbai 16 May 2012 - 12:00am IST

Report: Match 64 – DD v KXIP

Daredevils clinch playoff spot with five-wicket win over KXIP

The Delhi Daredevils have become the first team to qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2012 with a five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at home. With 20 points from 14 games, DD continue to lead league standings.

On display at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi was a glimpse of India’s fast bowling future; and going by what one saw, it looks very bright. Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Parvinder Awana took a combined eight wickets for a total of 62 in 12 overs. In the end, Awana ended on the losing side.

After the bowlers did their job, Mahela Jayawardene (52 off 48 balls) anchored DD’s innings, with valuable support from Naman Ojha (34 off 29 balls) and Irfan Pathan (19 off 10 balls) to end the game with an over to spare. The Sri Lankan batsman showed his class with some fine shots to bring up his eight fours, while his partners played attacking aerial shots.

KXIP put up a spirited effort in their defence of a below-par 136 against the table-toppers Delhi Daredevils. The credit mainly goes to their young fast bowler Awana (4-0-22-3) who bowled four delightful overs of swing bowling. He kept on bowling in the corridor of uncertainty and maintained a daunting good length. Virender Sehwag (8) perished to an in-swinger that dislodged the right bail. Venugopal Rao (7) and Ross Taylor (0) were lured into drives and the resulting edges were caught behind the wicket. Praveen Kumar dealt another body blow by getting rid of David Warner (14).

The visitors were well and truly back into the game when they had DD on the ropes at 37 for four. Ojha and Jayawardene stitched together a partnership to lift the pressure off the hosts. They were particularly harsh on Piyush Chawla, plonking him for 33 runs in three overs. Ojha (34) eventually got caught at the boundary off him, trying to go for a big one. Jayawardene was then joined by Pathan who hit Awana for three fours in the 18th over. DD eventually sealed the win with six balls to spare.

Earlier, KXIP’s decision to bat first backfired when they lost half their side for 80 runs by the 12th over. Only skipper David Hussey crossed the 20-run mark, scoring 40 off 35 balls; Nitin Saini was the second-highest scorer with 15.

DD’s two Indian young fast bowlers – Umesh Yadav (4-0-21-3) and Varun Aaron (4-0-19-2) – hunted in a pair to bring about KXIP’s downfall. Aaron rocked the top-order by scalping the dangerous Shaun Marsh (13) and the in-form Mandeep Singh (21). Yadav accounted for the opposition’s star all-rounder Azhar Mahmood (9) and talented wicketkeeper Nitin Saini, before coming back to dismiss Piyush Chawla (10).

Daredevils’ bowlers were well-supported by the committed fielders. Virender Sehwag held a couple of sharp catches – at short midwicket and slip. Irfan Pathan took a very well-judged catch at long-on to get rid of Mahmood. With two run-outs (by Pawan Negi and Aaron) the team’s high standard in ground fielding and accuracy in throwing was on full display. As a result, KXIP could only manage 136 for the loss of eight wickets in their 20 overs.

Scorecard

Man-of-the-Match: Umesh Yadav for his match-winning bowling spell of 4-0-21-3

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