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Rediff.com  » Sports » Delhi trounce Rajasthan, stay on top

Delhi trounce Rajasthan, stay on top

May 18, 2009 00:44 IST
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- Scorecard

Disciplined bowling and an unbeaten half century from AB de Villiers guided Delhi Daredevils to a 14-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

The victory consolidated Delhi's position atop the table.

Electing to bat, Delhi rattled up a challenging 150 for three -- largely due to De Villiers' unbeaten 55-ball 79 -- and then restricted Rajasthan to 136 for nine as they notched their ninth victory from 12 matches.

Amit Mishra returned figures of 3 for 33 from his four overs while Abhishek Salvi and Farveez Maharoof chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Delhi, who have already made it to the semi-finals, are sitting pretty atop the table with 18 points, while Rajasthan, with 13 points from as many matches, are placed fifth.

Rajasthan have to win their last match against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 20 in Durban and wait for the results of other matches to see whether they make it to the semi-finals or not.

Chasing 151, Rajasthan began on a disastrous note, their openers Graeme Smith (0) and Rob Quiney (6) back in the pavilion by the third over with just eighth runs on the board. Needless to say, from then on it was always a struggle.

Naman Ojha struggled to find the gaps before departing for a 17-ball nine, caught by Delhi captain Virender Sehwag off Salvi in the seventh over to leave his side reeling at 26 for three.

Johan Botha (37) and Ravindra Jadeja (24), though, kept Rajasthan in the hunt for a while with a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket from 35 balls.

Four overs, two on either side of halfway mark, proved to be only the productive period for Rajasthan as they scored 10 or more per over. But once Jadeja was out in the 13th over off Salvi for a well-compiled 18-ball 24 the writing was on the wall.

By the 15th over, the asking rate had climbed to above 11 per over and when Botha was out in the 16th over it was all over.

Big-hitter Yusuf Pathan, who carried Rajasthan's hopes for a crucial victory, could score only one run off five balls, leaving the team in trouble at 82 for five in the 14th over.

Abhishk Raut (11), Shane Warne (6) and Amit Singh (0) did not have the wherewithal to knock off the runs piling on.

Earlier, Delhi rode on an unbeaten half century by De Villiers (79), who combined with Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) for 87 runs from 83 balls for the third wicket, to rattle up a challenging 150 for three after Sehwag elected to bat.

De Viliers, who hit his third IPL fifty, and Dilshan repaired the innings after Delhi slumped to 15 for two in the third over with their two openers -- Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag -- back in the pavilion by then.

De Villiers, who survived a difficult catching chance by Quiney while on 57, understandably started watchfully but opened up towards the close to hit eight fours and a six in his 55-ball innings.

Delhi took 25 runs from the penultimate over bowled by Munaf Patel with De Villiers and Dinesh Karthik (23 not out) hitting a six and a four each.

Delhi, though, were off to a shaky start with Gambhir continuing his average form in the tournament as he was brilliantly caught and bowled for eight in the third over by Munaf Patel, who also claimed Sehwag in the same over.

Sehwag, whose highest score from his eight innings so far has been 38, made a forgettable eight-ball two before he was adjudged LBW to Munaf four balls after Gambhir departed.

The two quick wickets jolted the Delhi innings and it was left to De Villiers and Dilshan to do their usual repairing job as they took their side to 60 for two at the strategic break from 26 for two at the end of fifth over.

Dilshan and de Villiers kept the scoreboard ticking by running hard between the wickets for ones and twos to take their side to 95 for two by the end of the 15th over.

Delhi really opened up only in the last three overs but that was enough for them to touch the 150-mark by taking 55 runs from the last five overs and losing just Dilshan's wicket in the 17th over, clean bowled by Johan Botha while trying to play across.

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