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Rediff.com  » Sports » Yusuf Pathan hands Delhi a Royals thrashing

Yusuf Pathan hands Delhi a Royals thrashing

By Rediff cricket
Last updated on: April 29, 2009 00:00 IST
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- Scorecard

A belligerent 62 not out (30 balls, 3x4, 6x6) by Yusuf Pathan and a responsible unbeaten 44 by Graeme Smith (46, 4x5) ensured Rajasthan Royals a five-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League match at the Centurion on Tuesday.

The duo strung together an unbroken 83-run stand for the sixth wicket, after the Rajasthan bowlers had stuck to their task yet again to restrict Delhi to 143 for seven, to see the Royals home.

Dimitri Mascarenhas (4-0-28-2) and Munaf Patel (4-1-14-2) were the pick of their bowlers, while captain Shane Warne also chipped in with a couple of wickets. 

Delhi, who won all their three matches going into this match, suffered their first defeat mainly because none of their top order batsmen, save AB de Villiers (50), could make a significant contribution.

For Rajasthan, it was their second win in five matches, thanks to Yusuf's lusty hitting, Smith's responsible batting and, above all, Warne's superlative captaincy.

Delhi innings:

Virender Sehwag won the toss for the third time in four matches and made a decision that was quite predictable.

You guessed it right! He opted to bat, smashing the first ball he faced (off Mascarenhas) over the backward square leg boundary for the maximum.

The Delhi captain and his opening partner, Gautam Gambhir, had been disappointing in the last couple of matches, failing to live up to the hype surrounding them.

And Sehwag was keen to make amends, at least that is what he promised at the toss. However, the promise did not translate into performance.

Gambhir, who aggregated only 31 runs from three matches going into the match, added just eight more to the tally.

A mistimed drive of Mascarenhas went flying towards first slip and Warne took a blinder, reiterating why is still considered one of the best slip fielders in the world.

Three balls later, Sehwag (16/11) followed his partner's footsteps.

A mistimed hit from his bat sent the ball high in the air and Kamran Khan had ample time to position himself for a catch at mid-on.

Mascarenhas had struck twice in his second over and Delhi were reduced to 25 for two after three.

It was again up to Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers, with 117 and 126 runs to their credit respectively going into the match, to do the repair work.

The Sri Lankan (7/10), with two successive half centuries in his last two matches, however, couldn't rise to the challenge on this occasion.

Rajasthan's first change, Munaf, came on in the sixth over and got them reward with immediate effect.

Dilshan mistimed a pull of a short delivery and Swapnil Asnodkar was there to take the catch at deep midwicket.

Nine balls later Warne struck. A flighted delivery from the Australian took a leading edge off Dinesh Karthik's (4/5) bat and the bowler accepted a simple return catch.

The famed Delhi batting line-up had been reduced to 56 for four after eight, and the Rajasthan bowling had again done the trick for them.

Daniel Vettori was sent up the order in a move that seemed desperate.

The New Zealand captain edged a Munaf delivery to Warne at first slip and the latter did the needful. However, to their dismay it was called a no-ball.

Delhi went into the strategic time out at 66 for four, needing to chalk out a few strategies and get their batteries recharged.

Rajasthan made a twin bowling change after the break which brought some respite for Delhi.

Vettori and AB de Villiers helped themselves to a boundary each, towards long on and extra cover respectively, off Ravindra Jadeja's first over.

Yusuf Pathan's first over was a bit more dramatic.

De Villiers came down the track and dispatched the first ball over the long-on fence for the maximum. Off the second ball, the South African was woefully short of his ground but Yusuf failed to catch the ball and make the stumping.

Vettori top edged the final ball of the over but to his fortune it landed safe. 

De Villiers reached his half-century sweeping Warne towards the midwicket boundary, with Smith failing to field.

However, the Rajasthan captain struck with the next ball, trapping the South African in front of the wicket.

De Villiers, who faced 40 balls (5x4, 1x6), was unfortunate; television replays showed that the ball had pitched outside leg stump. 

Rajasthan weren't complaining though. A fifth-wicket partnership that had yielded 56 runs had been broken and Delhi were restricted to just 108 for five after 16 overs.

As Kamran Khan came back for his second spell, Vettori cut loose, hitting successive boundaries, one through square leg and the other through extra cover.

Mithun Manhas followed suit in the next over, smashing Warne over the long off boundary for the maximum and directing the next to the deep backward square leg boundary.

The return of Munaf in the penultimate over -- that cost Rajasthan only two runs --  led to the dismissal of Vettori (29/28), that too off a full toss. 

Amit Mishra (0) was cleaned up by Kamran in the final over while Manhas remained unbeaten on 23 (16 balls, 2x4, 1x6).

In the final analysis, Delhi batting's flattered to deceive while Rajasthan's bowlers again performed the task assigned to them to perfection.

Rajasthan innings:

The Rajasthan innings started on a disastrous note. It followed a pattern they set for themselves in the tournament. However, to their credit, they survived 21 balls before losing the first wicket.

In the meanwhile, Graeme Smith, who had been one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament thus far, with just 19 runs in four matches, showed signs of taking some responsibility that he was always expected to.

The South African captain's first boundary came off an outside edge from Ashish Nehra in the second over. However, in the next he hit two sweetly-timed fours off Dirk Nannes, the first through square leg and the second towards backward point.

Rajasthan suffered their first casualty when Nehra trapped Rob Quiney (4/9) up front with a good length delivery.

Asnodkar (11/8) edged first change Pradeep Sangwan to the backward point fence, hit him over the square leg fence for the maximum three balls later, but was run-out off the next ball by a direct hit from Amit Mishra while attempting a suicidal run.

Mishra came in to bowl after the Powerplay and struck with his fourth delivery, having Paul Valthaty (1/5) caught by Vettori at long-off.

Rajasthan went into the strategic time out tottering at 60 for three, and any strategy they might have thought about at the interval backfired in the first over after resumption, when Mishra made a double breakthrough for Delhi.

The third ball was tossed up and Jadeja became a victim, hitting straight to Sangwan at long off.

The captain promoted himself up the order but survived just two balls, a smart piece of work by wicketkeeper Karthik ending his innings even before he had troubled the scorers.

Rajasthan 64 for five after 11.

However, the turnaround started soon after. Warne's decision to move Yusuf down the order did work in his favour.

Vettori's first over (Delhi's 16th) went for 19, Yusuf hitting him for successive sixes over the midwicket fence and following it up with a boundary.

Rajasthan were back on track.

Vettori's second went for 13. The New Zealand captain foxed Yusuf by tossing one up and got a top edge but the ball fell short of the fielder. The batsman retaliated by smashing the next ball over the midwicket fence for the maximum.

After 16 overs, Rajasthan were 109 for five, a run ahead of Delhi at t hat stage.

Then, the 17th over, bowled by Mishra, cost Delhi 18 runs.

Smith directed a beautiful shot to the extra cover boundary and Yusuf followed it up with a boundary and a six, both towards long-on. The first shot was, in fact, a catching opportunity that Sangwan floored.

The next over by Nehra went for 14, Yusuf hitting successive sixes, the first to deep square leg and the second over midwicket, the latter bringing up his half-century (off just 26 balls). 

A four to the long on fence of Nannes's penultimate over and it was all over.

The sixth-wicket partnership between Smith and Yusuf yielded 83 and ensured Rajasthan their second victory.

Warne the batsman might have failed, but Warne the captain passed with flying colours.

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