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Report: Match 2 – Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils
Irfan helps DD to 8-wicket win in curtailed match
By IPL desk
Mumbai 06 April 2012
The Delhi Daredevils looked for a change in fortunes this season after languishing at the bottom of the table in 2011. The beginning hasn’t been too bad for them. They defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets at the Eden Gardens in a match reduced to 12 overs a side due to dodgy weather.
Rain tried its best to dampen all spirits at Kolkata. But when the match did start, the Daredevils brought the Eden Gardens to life. After electing to field first, they made the dangerous Kolkata Knight Riders batting line-up look pedestrian with a combination of lethal bowling and electric fielding.
KKR’s mighty top-five – Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir,Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan – were out by the time the score had reached 54 in 6.4 overs. Three of them heard the furniture behind them rattle as DD’s Morne Morkel was on fire. On a hat-trick in the third over after cleaning up Kallis and Tiwary, Morkel missed the landmark by a whisker as a yorker to Yusuf pitched slightly outside leg stump.
Umesh Yadav and Roelof van der Merwe were the perfect foil to the strapping South African. The three pacers hunted in a pack, sending down toe-crushers and bouncers alike, causing the KKR batsmen to hop, jump and eventually perish.
The Daredevils were as electric in the field as they were with the ball. Yadav, in particular, was omnipresent, either sending down scorchers with the ball, diving around in the outfield or aiming accurately at the stumps.
Down in the dumps, the KKR innings received some boost with Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s sparkling cameo of 26 runs off 17 balls. Debabrata Das’s 9-ball 18 also came in handy to take the hosts to 97 in 12 overs.
The Daredevils got off to a cracking start with Virender Sehwag and Aaron Finch. Both departed after getting starts, causing the required run-rate to mount. But the situation changed as Irfan Pathan got going with the bat. Coming in at No.3, Irfan plundered 42 runs off 20 balls. He smacked Kallis and Marchant de Lange for three sixes in all finished the game for DD with a fine flick for four to fetch maiden tournament points for DD in IPL 2012.
Report: Match 1 – Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians
Debutant Levi powers MI to eight-wicket win over CSK in IPL opener
By IPL desk
Mumbai 04 April 2012
Mumbai Indians opened their IPL 2012 campaign in style, easing their way to an eight-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in their den. Chasing merely 113 runs, MI made light work of the target with IPL debutant Richard Levi scoring a quick fire half-century to help the visitors topple the reigning champions.
MI began their chase in typically aggressive fashion. Openers Sachin Tendulkar and Richard Levi went about their job with relative ease as the Super Kings succumbed to the duo’s aggression. The South African was particularly brutal on the CSK bowlers with his intent and attacking instincts shining through at every opportunity. Ravindra Jadeja’s first over in CSK’s colours went for 16 as the 24-year-old Protea took a liking to his left-arm spin.
Tendulkar on the other hand looked content at stroking the ball around; interrupted only by a sublime six over long on. MI’s intent was further emphasised when Levi brought up his first half-century in IPL after smacking Bravo over the ropes. Bravo got his own back the very next ball as Levi  holed out at long-on with MI at 69/1.
The Super Kings struck again; this time Doug Bollinger induced an inside edge from Rohit Sharma’s bat. MI were struck another critical blow with Tendulkar [16*] having to retire hurt after being hit on the glove by a Bollinger delivery. But any thoughts of a comeback were quickly kept on ice by Ambati Rayudu [18*] and James Franklin’s [25*] 43-run partnership.
After electing to bowl first, MI quickly got into the groove thanks to some inspired fielding from Ambati Rayudu. The 26-year-old’s brilliant direct-hit from the cover region had opener Faf du Plessis  stretching in vain for the crease.
With Murali Vijay struggling to find form, Suresh Raina decided to break the shackles by smashing Abu Nechim for a six. The fireworks were short-lived, as Vijay  was put out of his misery after he mistimed a James Franklin delivery. Raina did his bit to keep the scoreboard ticking with Dwayne Bravo providing modest support.
Scoring quick was proving to be difficult on the MA Chidambaram track and CSK’s incessant thirst for runs led to Raina’s  demise. Pragyan Ojha got the better of the Super Kings southpaw to notch his first wicket for MI. Bravo  was the next to go as Ojha deceived the Windies batsman to reduce CSK to 80/4.