Match 55: Deccan Chargers thrive under pressure and Delhi Daredevils choke under pressure. That just sums up the 2 teams performance in the 3 seasons of IPL. Deccan Chargers who finished 7th in the first season shocked everyone by winning the second season and after having lost 5 matches in a row this season they had to win the last 5 matches to make it to the semis but they played like true defending champions outclassing each of the 5 teams that they played to charge into the semis. On the other hand Delhi who have been the favourites in all the seasons have failed to deliver in crunch games. After having reached the semis of the previous 2 editions they could not enter the finals and tonight when it was a must win game for them to get into the semis they failed yet again. There might not be any South African players in the Delhi side but surely they are the South Africa of IPL.
Match 47: The explosive West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard finally lived up to the costliest tag with a swashbuckling 45 of 13 balls which destroyed all the good work that the Delhi bowlers had put before he came on to bat. Pollard, criticized for under performing so far, silenced his detractors who questioned his valuation with this amazing innings. The Daredevils started the chase in a blitzkrieg manner but with the big guns gone, Mumbai Indians took control of the match and finally ended up winning it by 39 runs. With this win Mumbai Indians have booked their berth in the semi finals and on the other side Delhi have to win the rest of their 2 matches to enter the semis.
Match 44 : Win the toss and bat first has been the success mantra on the Delhi pitch leaving out the game when Hayden exploded with his mongoose but it was not long ago that the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla was criticized and subsequently banned for a year. The devil in the pitch all of a sudden became alive and Delhi crumbled to hand Kings their 3rd win in a row. Who said T20 was only a batsmen’s game??
Kings XI Innings
Delhi would have been floating in the clouds having won their last 4 games but just like an aircraft can only float in the sky until the fuel lasts, Daredevils were forced to land as they ran out of ammunition against Kolkata Knight riders. Maybe complacency cost them the game. First their bowlers could not stop the flow of runs giving away 181 and when it came to their batting they kept losing wickets regularly to give Kolkata a 14 run victory.
Delhi Daredevils Innings
Rajasthan Royals winning train finally made a halt at Delhi station. Riding on a brilliant innings from Karthik Daredevils registered their biggest victory in the IPL as the Royals fell short by 67 runs chasing 188 runs. After a blow-hot blow-cold season Delhi find themselves in the 2nd spot.
Rajasthan Royals Innings
Kolkata Knightriders had no answer to a blistering hundred from Warner as they were beaten comprehensively by 40 runs. The Daredevils by virtue of this emphatic win have moved back into the top 4. Maybe it would be better off if KKR stops taking advice from the whole nation as part of the promotion that they are doing along with Nokia . Kolkata’s chase had no life at any stage after Warner powered Delhi to 177
Knight Riders Innings
Tournament favourites Delhi Daredevils crashed to a 98-run defeat at their home ground as Mumbai Indians put up a brilliant all round show. It was truly a clinical performance from the Mumbai Indians outfit first with their batsmen amassing 218 runs which is their highest score in IPL so far and then their bowlers finishing off the job with 3 overs to spare. It was disappointing to see a strong batting line up like Delhi which is capable of overhauling the biggest of targets come a cropper. Although it has to be said that Delhi didn’t have the resources of Gautam Gambhir who pulled up a hamstring early in the match but even if he had batted the result would have been the same but surely Delhi could have avoided such a huge defeat. With this thumping victory, Mumbai Indians jumped to the top of standings, while Delhi slipped to third, behind KKR.
It was almost the same target that Delhi was chasing but it was a comprehensive win today unlike the tense one against the Kings XI. Delhi Daredevils once again delivered a combined effort with the ball to limit Rajasthan Royals to 141 for 6 Barring a brief period of fireworks, Rajasthan Royals had largely to blame themselves for the modest score . When you have Sehwag in the opposition you are always praying that he gets out early but it was not to be. But sadly for Warne and Rajasthan Royals muscled his way to the fastest half-century of this IPL to secure the 2nd consecutive win for Delhi and 2nd loss for RR.
It was not the usual T20 match that you would expect but nevertheless it turned out to be a nerve wracking game. Gambhir playing his first match as an IPL captain was cool as a cucumber as he guided his team to a straightforward chase with an old-fashioned innings full of sensible strokeplay. Delhi were the firm favourites but T20 is so unpredictable that you just can’t take things granted in this format. Had Pathan taken the catch of Manhas at a crucial moment in the match the result might have well been in favour of Preity Zinta who wore a traditional Punjabi dress.
INDIA has created history in NZ by winning the series 1-0 and this being first series win after 41 long years and the only 13th series win overseas makes it even more cherishable. But India’s Wellington woes still remain. Its sad that it could not be 2-0 thanks to the weather gods and debatable captaincy from Dhoni but as soon as the match was abandoned and the test drawn congratulatory messages started pouring in. India is perhaps the only country where the president congratulates the team for their victory .This was no World Cup but India being such a cricket crazy nation it is bound to happen. BCCI didn’t waste any time and they announced a cash reward of 15 lakhs to each member of the winning team. Click here for the final day pics