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Dilshan Dil Se...

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: April 30, 2009 20:13 IST
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- Scorecard

Tillakaratne Dilshan once again emerged the hero as he carried Delhi Daredevils to a six-wicket victory against Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League match in Centurion on Thursday.

The Sri Lankan batsman hit a brisk 52 from 46 deliveries, his third match-winning innings, to consign Deccan Chargers to their first defeat in the tournament.

Batting first, the Hyderabad side wobbled to a respectable 148 for nine, courtesy a blazing 48 from 28 deliveries by Dwayne Smith that lifted them from the dumps, after Dirk Nannes, Delhi's standout bowler, who finished with two for 16 in four overs, had dismissed openers Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs early.

Ashish Nehra gave Nannes good support, claiming two for 30 in four.

Delhi, despite losing three quick wickets at the start, finished with 150 for four in 18.4 overs.

Dilshan single-handedly guided the team to victory in a 79-run partnership in 10.2 overs for the fourth wicket with Dinesh Karthik, who stroked 41 from 30 deliveries.

Hyderabad innings:

Delhi, who elected to field on winning the toss, went in with the same side that was beaten by Rajasthan Royals in the previous match.

Deccan Chargers lost patience with VVS Laxman, who scored just 19 runs in four matches, and replaced him with Tirumalsetti Suman.

Adam Gilchrist took just two deliveries to warm-up before lofting Nannes over mid-off for a boundary, and followed it up with another boundary through the off-side.

But Nannes had the last laugh when he stunned Gilchrist with a short delivery; the Aussie could only top-edge it to the wicketkeeper and was dismissed for 8 off 5 deliveries. (8-1, 0.5)

New batsman Azhar Bilakhia got off the mark in style, crashing Nehra through point for a boundary. He was lucky to survive two deliveries later when Virender Sehwag, at first slip, dropped an easy catch as Bilakhia looked to guide one to the third man region.

Nannes then dealt Deccan another big blow, claiming the key wicket of Herschelle Gibbs for 0. The South African opener tried to loft Nannes over the mid-off fielder but did not get enough elevation -- the ball went straight to AB de Villiers. (19-2, 2.3)

Despite the early wickets, birthday boy Rohit Sharma and Bilakhia batted positively and took Deccan to 37 for two in six overs before spin was introduced from both ends.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra struck first when he got the wicket of Sharma, caught in the cover boundary for 17, which included two boundaries in 20 deliveries. (52-3, 9)

Two deliveries later Bilakhia joined him in the dressing room after being trapped leg before wicket by Daniel Vettori.

Bilakhia, who made 22 from 27 deliveries, was beaten by the quicker delivery from Vettori as he looked to play a sweep shot. (53-4, 9.2)

The Delhi bowlers had imposed themselves in the first half of the match as Deccan stumbled to 55 for four after 10 overs.

But things changed drastically after the break as West Indian Smith counter-attacked.

Vettori suffered in the 12th over when Smith smashed him for three consecutive boundaries to amass 16 runs from the over. That was followed by another big over from Mishra as Smith pummeled two huge sixes and a boundary through midwicket and took 20 runs from the over.

The first three overs after the strategic time-out worked wonders for Deccan as they smashed 42 runs in 18 deliveries. Smith scored the majority of those, 37 in 16 deliveries, that included four boundaries and two sixes.

At the other end, new batsman T Suman, who was spectator to Smith's amazing strokeplay, decided to show off some of his own big hits. He decided to take on part-timer Tillakaratne Dilshan in the 14th over, stepping down the wicket and guiding a full toss through point for a boundary.

The Smith-Suman partnership had taken Delhi by storm. The two batsmen amassed 50 off just 25 deliveries to turn the match on its head. Suman then despatched Dilshan over the covers for a six as Chargers reached a comfortable 112 for four after 14 overs for a run-rate of 8 runs per over.

Delhi captain Virender Sehwag brought back Pradeep Sangwan hoping for a breakthrough and his left-armer did exactly that. Suman tried to pull a short delivery through the leg side but got a top edge, which was easily gobbled up by de Villiers at point.

Suman scored 23 from 14 deliveries, inclusive of a boundary and six, but, importantly, was involved in a 65-run partnership in just 5.3 overs for the fifth wicket with Smith.

Left-arm pacers Sangwan and Nehra did not let Deccan off the hook in the final few overs. Smith, frustrated by the lack of boundaries tried a lofted shot off Nehra in the 18th over, but was caught by Vettori running backwards in the cover region. However, Smith had single-handedly rescued Deccan with his blazing knock of 48 from 28 deliveries that included five boundaries and two sixes. (139-6, 18)

Nannes then bowled a dream penultimate over for Delhi, conceding just one run. Shoaib Ahmed (0) had no clue to the left-amer's out-swingers as he kept fishing before being run-out looking for a non-existent single. (139-7, 18.3)

The Australian pacer finished with remarkable figures of two for 16 in four overs to help Delhi bounce after that onslaught from Smith.

Venugopal Rao struck a much-needed boundary for Deccan in the final over, their first in four overs, when he creamed Nehra through the point region. However, Nehra had his revenge off the next delivery, castling Venugopal's stumps with a perfect yorker. The Hyderabad batsman never got going in the final overs and ended up with 16 from 15 deliveries, inclusive of just one boundary. (147-8, 19.5)

Pragyan Ojha was run-out off the last delivery of the innings for 1 as Deccan finished on 148 for nine in their 20 overs.

The last few overs went to plan for Delhi as their trio of left-arm seamers restricted the Deccan batsmen to just 36 runs in six overs.

Nannes was a revelation with his spell of two for 16 in four overs, while Nehra claimed two for 30 in four.

Sangwan also made an important contribution with one for 24 in four overs, but the spinners Mishra (1 for 32) and Vettori (1 for 23) again came up short.

Delhi innings:

All eyes were on Delhi openers Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, both yet to make decent contributions in the IPL so far. It was clear that they did not want to risk lofted shots, at least for the first few overs, but play a restricted game. But even that approach did not hamper Sehwag, who got going with consecutive boundaries off RP Singh in the second over.

Fidel Edwards got the same treatment in the next over when Sehwag, playing well within himself, stroked another couple of boundaries as Delhi raced to 28 in three overs.

But Sehwag couldn't control his urge to go for the big shots. The right-hander went for his favourite cut shot off a wide delivery from RP Singh, but hit it straight to Gibbs at point and was dismissed for 20 from 11 deliveries, including four boundaries. (30-1, 3.3)

In-form AB de Villiers also did not last long; he fell to medium pacer Shoaib Ahmed for 5, holing out to Ojha at mid-off. (35-2, 5)

Gambhir appeared to have regained some much-needed form when he stroked two consecutive boundaries through the off-side off Ahmed. But the bowler cut short his promising innings, trapping him leg before wicket as he attempted a sweep shot.

The Delhi left-hander, who scored 17 from 15 deliveries, seemed rather unlucky to be given out as the ball appeared to be missing off-stump.

His dismissal left Delhi in a spot of bother early on. (49-3, 6.5)

Delhi's woes at the top continue, with Sehwag now tallying 87 runs in five matches at 21.75 and Gambhir also struggling with 56 runs in five matches at 14.00, with a best of 17.

The 21-year-old Ahmed, playing in his first IPL, had given Deccan the upper hand with figures of two for 13 in his first two overs.

Dilshan struggled to get going at the start of his innings, scoring seven from 13 deliveries. At the other end, Dinesh Karthik was unbeaten on 15 (12 deliveries) as Delhi reached 70 for three in 10 overs.

Part-timer Rohit Sharma was called into the attack for the 12th over and Karthik broke the shackles with a huge six through square leg. Dilshan joined the party, carting Smith for a six through midwicket in the next over as Delhi reached 93 for three after 13 overs, needing 56 off the last seven.

Ojha and Venugopal then came up with two tight overs, conceding five and three runs respectively, leaving Delhi a tough task of getting 48 from the last five overs.

Fidel Edwards bowled an erratic over, giving away 10 in the 16th, before the Delhi batsmen took on Venugopal.

Karthik slammed him over the covers for a boundary and Dilshan followed, smashing a six and four off the last two deliveries to bring the equation to 21 from three overs.

Ojha kept Deccan in the hunt by claiming the wicket of Karthik, who scored a valuable 41. The Delhi wicketkeeper tried to sweep the left-arm spinner but was trapped right in front of the stumps. (128-4, 17.1)

Karthik, who hit three boundaries and a six in his 30-ball knock, had, with Dilshan, taken Delhi to the brink of victory with his brisk 79-run partnership in 10.2 overs.

Dilshan then took the onus on himself to finish off the match in the 19th over. He slammed Edwards for two boundaries before ending the match in style with a huge six over square leg.

Dilshan finished unbeaten on 52 from 46 deliveries, which included four boundaries and three sixes, as Delhi registered a six-wicket victory.

Edwards's struggle in his last two overs cost Deccan dearly; the Windies pace bowler gave away 28 runs in just 10 deliveries for figures of none for 44 in 3.4 overs.

Ahmed was Deccan's best bowler, claiming one for 20 in four overs, while Ojha continued his good form with the ball to take one for 24 in four overs.

This was Deccan's first loss in the tournament but they still occupy the top position, ahead of Delhi on better run-rate; both teams have eight points.

Dilshan deserves rich praise for his purposeful batting despite struggling to get going at the start of his innings. He kept his composure despite the soaring run-rate, and once he found his footing there was no stopping him.

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Harish Kotian

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