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JP Duminy snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as the Delhi Daredevils prevailed against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Thanks to the middle-order batsman’s late heroics, DD overcame KKR’s 166-run total with four wickets in hand and three balls to spare. Just when it seemed like the Knight Riders had complete control of the match, Duminy struck a flurry of boundaries, including the match-winning six, to craft a famous win.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and opted to take first strike. However, the decision seemed to have backfired as KKR lost two early wickets. While Jacques Kallis got out to Mohammed Shami off the first legal delivery of the match, skipper Gambhir (0) departed in the second over off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile. Thereafter, Manish Pandey – who had a great first game against the Mumbai Indians – along with Robin Uthappa, seized the momentum from DD. While Uthappa played the supporting role, Pandey (48) ensured KKR’s run-rate stayed in the vicinity of seven-an-over.
However, with the score on 75 in the 11th over, Pandey departed when Shahbaz Nadeem got past his defense and bowled him out. Pandey – who at the moment is the Orange Cap holder – missed out on a second consecutive half-century. Uthappa (55), meanwhile, kept on chipping away at the DD bowlers and crafted a 57-run partnership with Shakib Al Hasan (30*). The duo, with their big shots and constant scoring, laid the foundation for a big total, until Uthappa got out in the 17th over.
Yusuf Pathan (11), who came in next, hung around long enough to play a supporting role to Shakib in the death overs. And at the fall of Pathan’s wicket in the 20th over, Suryakumar Yadav (8*) took strike and struck two late boundaries to take the KKR score 166 for five.
Although Coulter-Nile gave away plenty of runs in the last over of the innings, he was the pick of the Daredevils bowlers and ended up with two big scalps – Gambhir and Pathan. Shami and Jaydev Unadkat, meanwhile, picked up a wicket each.
In their pursuit of 167, DD lost Murali Vijay (0) to a run-out in the first over itself. His opening partner, Mayank Agarwal (26), then added 29 runs for the second wicket along with Dinesh Karthik. Just as Agarwal was gathering momentum, Morne Morkel got rid of him, leaving DD on 39 for two. Karthik was then joined by Ross Taylor (6) in the middle, but the Kiwi batter was unable to carry forward his form from the previous game as Kallis cleaned him up with a delivery that jagged back in to him.
With DD still 107 runs adrift of the target, JP Duminy came to the crease. Along with Karthik, the South African batsman kept DD in the hunt. The fourth-wicket pair added 58 runs in a little over seven overs. Karthik (56) even brought up his half-century during that period. However, DD’s stand-in skipper was trapped leg-before by the wily Sunil Narine, who Gambhir had saved for the last 10-over stretch.
The Daredevils needed 44 runs off the final five overs with Duminy and Manoj Tiwary (5) in the middle. But the latter did not last long and got out cutting a short delivery by Morkel straight into the hands of Narine at deep point. While one would have written the Daredevils off at that point, Duminy had other ideas. Having got his eye in, he unleashed himself in the 18th over – bowled by Morkel – and plundered 21 runs off it to bring the run-chase equation down to 11 off 12 balls. And just when DD looked like they would coast home, Sunil Narine bowled a miserly 19th over, conceding just five runs off it.
Then with run-a-ball required in the last over, Gambhir made a surprise move by bringing Piyush Chawla into the attack. The leggie bowled a dot ball first up, and then, claimed Neesham (8) off the next delivery. The pressure was now squarely on Duminy’s (52*) shoulders, but he did not lose his cool and smacked the next ball – a quicker one – over the fence to hand the Daredevils their first win of the season.
Man of the Match: JP Duminy for his match-winning innings of 52* (3x4; 3x6)
The Royal Challengers Bangalore handed the Mumbai Indians their second straight loss in Pepsi IPL 2014. RCB’s seven-wicket triumph was fuelled by some outstanding bowling performances by Yuzvendra Chahal and Mitchell Starc, and a timely 99-run stand between Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers. After restricting MI to 115, RCB made sure that despite losing three early wickets they did not make heavy weather of the run-chase.
Earlier in the evening, RCB won the coin toss and asked MI to bat first. Rohit Sharma went with the Michael Hussey-Aditya Tare combination at the top of the order in this match as well. The duo had just about got their eye in when Hussey (16) succumbed to Albie Morkel in the fourth over of the innings. Ambati Rayudu then came at one-down for MI. He paired up with Tare (17) to up the scoring rate, until the latter finally got out to a Varun Aaron delivery. The scorecard, at that point, reflected 52 for two in 6.5 overs.
MI needed the next batter – skipper Rohit Sharma – to stick around and help the team put up a big score. However, that was not to be, and Sharma (2) walked back to the pavilion with MI on 60 for three in 9.1 overs. And 10 runs later, the dangerous Kieron Pollard (3) got out caught in the deep off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal – who played a vital role in stifling the MI run-rate, and just like in his previous outing, ended up with very un-T20-like bowling figures (4-0-17-2).
Meanwhile, the rest of the RCB bowlers were also adding to the pressure created by the young spinner. Mitchell Starc further cornered MI when he dismissed a well-set Rayudu (35), and then off the very next delivery, got rid of Corey Anderson (18) – the last recognised batman in the line-up. While Starc missed out on a hat-trick, thanks to his exploits, MI were staring down the barrel at 101 for six in the 17th over.
With the momentum firmly on their side, the RCB bowlers went for the kill. And soon thereafter, Ashok Dinda struck to dismiss Zaheer Khan (0) and Varun Aaron knocked over Harbhajan Singh’s (8) stumps. Lasith Malinga (2) was then run out in the final over of the innings as MI played out their 20 overs for 115 for nine.
RCB’s response while chasing the modest target was initiated by the opening pair of Nic Maddinson and Parthiv Patel. After the duo negotiated the first two overs without much trouble, MI struck with one of their most lethal weapons – Malinga. The Sri Lankan pacer bowled yet another unplayable yorker that dismantled Maddinson’s (12) stumps, leaving RCB on 16 for one after three overs. This wicket clearly charged up the MI fielders and bowlers, who could sense the momentum shifting in their favour for the first time in the match.
Enter Zaheer Khan. The veteran Indian pacer, who was bowling the fourth over of the innings, delivered a massive double-blow within a space of three balls. He first got rid of Virat Kohli (0), who nicked the bowler to Harbhajan Singh in the slips. Then, after a dropped catch off his very next delivery, Zaheer trapped Yuvraj Singh (0) leg-before. From 16 for no loss, RCB had suddenly stumbled to 18 for three, in the fourth over.
At that point, RCB needed a big partnership that would stabilise their faltering innings. And thanks to Patel (57*) and AB de Villiers (45*), that is exactly what they got. Both batsmen paced their innings and rotated the strike while ensuring the seemingly subpar target did not get out of reach. While they did not have too many big overs, the duo struck regular boundaries as they crafted a game-changing stand. They brought up the team’s 100 in the 17th over, and a couple of deliveries later, Patel got to his half-century as well. Thereafter, both batsmen sped up the scoring rate and got RCB over the line in 17.3 overs with seven wickets in hand.
For MI, apart from Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga – who is the current Purple Cap holder – all other bowlers went wicketless.
Man of the Match: Parthiv Patel for his match-winning knock (57* off 45 balls)