Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Delhi keeps semis hopes alive

Delhi Daredevils recovered from a mid-innings wobble to hand Bangalore Royal Challengers yet another defeat, even as they strengthened their own chances of making it to the last four of the IPL.

Having asked the Challengers to bat, Delhi were set a challenging target of 155. It would not have been possible without Misbah-ul Haq's late charge against Delhi's bowlers. Delhi got there with five wickets and ten balls left.

Delhi got off to yet another speedy start, thanks to their in-form openers Gautam Gambhir (39 from 31 balls) and Virender Sehwag (47 form 19). But after their nexus was broken at 90, Anil Kumble briefly worked his magic that left Delhi stuttering at 133-5.

It still wasn't enough for Bangalore to come back into the game after the vicious opening partnership that was scored in just seven overs. Shikhar Dhawan and Ferveez Maharoof knocked off the remaining runs with ease to round up a comprehensive dismantling of Delhi.

The win had been set up by another fine performance by Delhi's seamers. Glenn McGrath (4-0-15-2), Maharoof (4-0-13-2) and Yo Mahesh (4-0-25-0) had Bangalore's batsmen under control.

For Bangalore, Sreevats Goswami was promoted up the order at opener Bharat Chipli's fall. The youngster, who kept wickets for India in the U-19 World Cup, aggregated 52 runs with fluent strokes.

Goswami kept at the pace going after Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid perished for small scores. Kallis (25) was caught behind to Maharoof's first ball. Dravid (9) slogged against Tilakaratne Dilshan and missed.

Bangalore had a late order collapse where they lost Craig White (1), Praveen Kumar (2) and B Akhil (3) in quick time. But Misbah provided the boost to the innings.

He made an unbeaten 47, the last 24 of which were scored against Rajat Bhatia's final over of the innings.

With the win, Delhi have now moved to 12 points to tie with Mumbai. However, Delhi have played 12 games to Mumbai's six and the Daredevils must win their remaining two matches to have a realistic chance of reaching the semifinal.