Daredevils cannot afford to relaxMay 16th, 2008 - 5:54 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) A gripping contest is on the cards when Delhi Daredevils take on Kings XI Punjab as the race for the semi-finals in the Indian Premier League hots up Saturday. The Daredevils ended their four-match losing streak against Deccan Chargers Thursday and they cannot afford to relax from here on.
The Daredevils are in fifth place with five wins from ten matches. The Kings XI Punjab, are sitting pretty in the second spot with 12 points from nine matches.
But with Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders very much in contention for the semifinals, Saturday’s game is significant for both teams.
The Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag is hoping that the bad patch is behind them.
“No team has been able to win consistently in the tournament. Even Super Kings, who were in fine form, lost four matches in a row. We are happy to be back to winning ways,” Sehwag said.
With all the teams packed with explosive batsmen, fortunes have fluctuated in a matter of a couple of overs.
“Every team is playing good cricket. The other night Sanath Jayasuriya single-handedly won the match for Mumbai Indians. It can happen in any game. One good knock and the game is over,” Sehwag said elaborating the uncertainity of the Twenty20 bash that has made it such a huge hit.
Sehwag though is happy that the batting is back in shape.
“Our bowlers have done well throughout the tournament. Our batting was not doing good, but it clicked against Chargers and we put up a good score. The batsmen will have to continue the good work.”
Sehwag, himself had been in great form in the tournament, but is going through a slump, failing to open his account in his last two innings.
The dashing opener will be hoping the law of averages is behind him and a ‘Sehwag special’ is round the corner.
On the bowling front, the Daredevils has unearthed a shrewd leg-spinner in Amit Mishra, who took five wickets, including IPL’s second hat-trick against Chargers.
With Glenn McGrath and Farveez Mahroof keeping it tight upfront, Mishra has solved Sehwag’s problem of an effective spinner in the middle overs.
Gautam Gambhir’s injury to his right toe will be a cause of concern for the Daredevils. Tournament’s highest scorer Gambhir was out of the field against the Chargers nursing his injury.
Kings XI Punjab, led by Yuvraj Singh, is the second team after Rajasthan Royals to give a consistent performance. They beat Royal Challengers comprehensively in the last match and before thet the loss against Super Kings was an aberration to their five consecutive wins.
Kings XI Punjab: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Ajitesh Argal, Piyush Chawla, Pankaj Dharmani,, Rishi Dhawan, Irfan Pathan, Nitin Saini, VRV Singh, Tanmay Srivastava, Karan Goel, James Hopes, Mahela Jayawardene, Uday Kaul, Luke Pomersbach, Kumar Sangakkara (wicket-keeper), Sunny Sohal, Sahil Kukreja, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Kyle Mills, Wilkin Mota, Ramesh Powar, Ramnaresh Sarwan S Sreesanth, Gagandeep Singh
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Rajat Bhatia, AB de Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pradeep Sangwan, Daniel Vettori, Gautam Gambhir, Brett Geeves, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Glenn McGrath, Farveez Maharoof, Shoaib Malik, Tejashwi Yadav, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Asif, Yogesh Nagar, Manoj Tiwary, Mayank Tehlan.
Tags: bowlers, deccan, game one, glenn mcgrath, hat trick, hots, ipl, jayasuriya, knight riders, kolkata, law of averages, losing streak, mishra, punjab, sehwag, semi finals, spinner, uncertainity, wickets, winning ways