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Rediff.com  » Sports » Delhi prove too good for Mumbai

Delhi prove too good for Mumbai

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: May 21, 2009 20:12 IST
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- Scorecard

Virender Sehwag shrugged off his batting woes with a blazing half-century to lead Delhi Daredevils to a four-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League match in Centurion on Thursday.

Sehwag smashed 50 from 27 deliveries (five boundaries and two sixes) while Gautam Gambhir scored 47 from 38, as the two batsmen added 68 runs in 46 deliveries for the second wicket.

Harbhajan Singh (four for 17) caused a late flutter by claiming four wickets in his last two overs, but it wasn't enough to stop the Delhi juggernaut.

Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane scored a brisk 56 from 41 deliveries as Mumbai rallied from 28 for three to a respectable 165 for eight in their 20 overs.

Delhi consolidated their position atop the standings with 20 points from 14 matches, while Mumbai ended their campaign in seventh position with 11 points.

Mumbai innings:

Delhi, who elected to field, made as many as five changes in their team, bringing in David Warner, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dirk Nannes, Pradeep Sangwan and Rajat Bhatia. But their most surprising decision was the omission of Australian fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath, which meant he spent the entire tournament on the bench.

Nannes started with two wides before claiming the wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya with the first legitimate delivery of the match. The left-hander tried to play across the line through the leg-side but missed the ball and was trapped leg before wicket. (0-1, 0.1)

It ended a disappointing tournament for the Sri Lankan left-hander, as he finished with 221 runs in 12 matches at 18.41, and was even once dropped after a string of failures.

Sachin Tendulkar seemed determined to end on a high though as he hit Aavishkar Salvi for two boundaries in the second over of the innings.

JP Duminy got a couple of boundaries himself, hitting Nannes for consecutive boundaries in the third over. But the left-arm fast bowler had his revenge when he tempted Duminy (9) with a short outgoing delivery that took the edge to wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik. (21-2, 2.3)

Pradeep Sangwan cut short Mohammad Ashraful's debut joy having the right-hander caught behind. The Bangladesh right-hander struggled for two from nine deliveries before edging a regulation outgoing delivery. (28-3, 4.3)

Ajinkya Rahane survived a dropped catch early in his innings off Sangwan, whom he slammed for two boundaries in that same over, to take Mumbai to 43 for three after seven overs.

Tendulkar and Rahane then set about restoring parity with some steady batting in the middle overs as Mumbai reached 72 for three after 10.

The two batsmen looked to get a move when they hit Amit Mishra for three boundaries to bring up their 50-run partnership in the 12th over.

Delhi finally got the big breakthrough when Tendulkar was bowled by all-rounder Rajat Bhatia. The Mumbai captain, who made 46 from 41 deliveries, tried to loft Bhatia over the off-side but was completely foxed by the slower delivery. (101-4, 13.3)

Tendulkar had kept Mumbai on course for a healthy total in a 73-run partnership off 54 deliveries for the third wicket with Rahane.

The next over dealt another big blow in the form of Abhishek Nayar, Mumbai's big hope for the final overs, when he was dismissed leg before wicket for four. (106-5, 14.2)

It was Rahane who registered Mumbai's first six by slamming Mishra for a big shot over the cover boundary in the 16th over to follow up on a boundary the previous delivery. He followed it up with another six in the next over, when he slammed Salvi over the cover boundary. Rahane took a single off the next delivery to bring up his half-century off 37 deliveries in the 18th over.

Nannes claimed his third wicket -- that of Pinal Shah for 12. The batsman tried to pull a short delivery but was beaten by the pace and lobbed it back to the bowler. (149-6, 18.3)

The well set Rahane could not do much damage in the final overs before he was caught by de Villiers off Sangwan.

Rahane played a solid knock of 56 from 41 deliveries, inclusive of five boundaries and two sixes; he was beaten by a slower delivery and ended up holing to de Villiers in the covers. (155-7, 19.1)

Lasith Malinga was run out for a duck in the final over, but Harbhajan Singh (12 from 7 deliveries) finished with a boundary to take Mumbai to a healthy 165 for eight in 20 overs.

Nannes was Delhi's top bowler in the innings, claiming three for 27, while Sangwan took two for 28.

Delhi not only want to win the match handsomely, but are also hoping their two main batsmen -- Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir -- strike some much-needed form before the all important semi-finals.

Delhi innings

Gambhir looked to dominate right from the outset and got off to a flier. He hit three boundaries in the first two overs to race to 16.

Debutant Rahil Shaikh had a tough initiation to IPL, his first over going for 11 runs, inclusive of a boundary each for David Warne and Gambhir.

Warner showed Dhawal Kulkarni scant respect when he stepped down the wicket and smashed a straight six in the fourth over. However, he attempted another big shot and that brought about his downfall. Looking to slam Kulkarni through midwicket he lost his bat, resulting in a simple catch for Ashraful in the covers.

The Australian scored 15 from nine deliveries as Delhi got off to a flying start, he and Gambhir putting on 36 runs in 3.3 overs. (36-1, 3.3)

The out-of-form Virender Sehwag also was quick off the blocks, hitting three boundaries off Kulkarni, as Delhi reached 60 for one after six overs.

Sehwag didn't let the initiative slip; he slammed Nayar for a straight six and followed it up with a boundary to race to 33 from 17 deliveries.

Gambhir also bagged another boundary in that over as Delhi reached a comfortable 93 for one at the halfway stage, needing another 73 runs from the last ten overs.

Against the run of play, Mumbai struck, claiming the wicket of Gambhir, who scored 47 from 38 deliveries, inclusive of seven boundaries. Malinga foxed the left-hander with a slower delivery as he tried another big swipe on the leg-side and the thick outside edge was neatly held by Ashraful. (104-2, 11.1)

Tillakaratne Dilshan needed just two deliveries to get his eye in before he launched compatriot Malinga over square leg for a six.

Sehwag also kept getting better with every over at the crease. He lofted Sanath Jayasuriya over the covers for a boundary and three deliveries later slammed a straight six over long-on.

Suddenly Delhi seemed in a wild rush as Dilshan hit Malinga for six and two boundaries as they raced to 143 for two after 14 overs, needing another 23 from the last six.

But Harbhajan Singh single-handedly changed the complexion of the match in his third over.

Sehwag was left off the first delivery as Harbhajan dropped a difficult return catch that brought up his half-century from just 26 deliveries. But the next delivery, Harbhajan scalped the key wicket of Dilshan. The Sri Lankan made a quickfire 24 from 14 deliveries before attempting a slog sweep, the top edge being taken by wicketkeeper Pinal Shah. (144-3, 14.2)

The very next delivery, Sehwag was bowled by a quicker one from Harbhajan after scoring 50 from 27 deliveries, inclusive of five boundaries and two sixes. (144-4, 14.3)

Delhi now needed 18 from 24 deliveries and Mumbai went all out in Harbhajan's last over by having fielders all around the batsmen, hoping for more wickets.

The first delivery saw AB de Villiers getting an edge but it flew between the keeper and the wide first slip for a boundary. But two deliveries later, Harbhajan had his man when the South African hit a lofted straight to Nayar at the midwicket fence and was dismissed for 6. (153-5, 16.3)

Harbhajan had his second chance in consecutive overs to claim a hat-trick when he broke through Bhatia's defences, dismissing him for 2. (153-6, 16.4)

But Amit Mishra made sure there was no further drama when he finished the match in the next over. He slapped off-spinner Duminy over the cover region for a boundary and it up with a big six over midwicket to complete formalities.

Delhi scored 166 for six in 17.3 overs to win by four wickets with 15 balls remaining.

The collapse not withstanding, which saw Delhi lose four wickets in the space of two overs, it was a convincing performance by the table toppers with bat and ball.

They must be delighted that both Gambhir and Sehwag have rediscovered form and hoping they make a major contribution in the semi-finals.

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Harish Kotian

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