Daredevils keep IPL semi-final hopes alive

May 20th, 2008 - 1:54 am ICT by admin  

Bangalore, May 20 (IANS) Delhi Daredevils improved their chances of making it to the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by beating Bangalore Royals Challengers by five wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here Monday. Skipper Virender Sehwag scored a fiery 47 off just 19 deliveries and Gautam Gambhir made 39 as Daredevils easily achieved the target of 155 with 10 balls to spare.

Put to bat, Bangalore Royal Challengers posted a competitive total of 154 for seven in 20 overs, thanks mainly to 19-year-old debutant Sreevats Goswami’s flamboyant 52.

It was also made possible by some big hits from Misbah-ul-Haq (47) in the last few overs. Goswami, the youngest player to get a half-century in the IPL, was adjudged Man of the Match despite being on the losing side.

With the win, Delhi Daredevils are still in the fifth place with six wins from 12 matches and will have to face a tough fight from fourth-placed Mumbai Indians for a place among the last four. Daredevils will now have to win both of their last two matches against Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians.

Sehwag’s decision to bowl first after a drizzle before the start of the match paid off with his bowlers exploiting the moist conditions.

Glenn McGrath and Farveez Maharoof were the only bowlers who survived Goswami’s onslaught as they didn’t give the batsmen any room and picked up two wickets each. McGrath conceded just 15 runs while Maharoof gave 13 from their four over spell.

But the duo didn’t get much support from fellow bowlers, especially Rajat Bhatia and Pradeep Sangwan, who were at the receiving end.

Goswami hammered Sangwan for 20 runs in an over by hitting three boundaries and a huge six in five deliveries to lift the Royal Challengers spirit to salvage some pride. The debutant’s innings lasted 42 balls and he hit seven boundaries and a six.

Rajat Bhatia was also taken to task in the last over as Misbah hit him for 24 runs that included three sixes and a four.

At a glance 155 looked like a target that could have put the Delhi team in a spot of bother. But Sehwag with his carefree batting style made things simple. He took time to free his hands, letting Gambhir start the run flow.

But after Sehwag took over, the Royal Challengers captain Rahul Dravid found it difficult to set a field for the Daredevils captain. The 90-run opening stand between Sehwag and Gambhir swung the balance in Daredevils’ favour.

Sehwag departed in a flashy style in the seventh over after a brilliant diving catch by Bharat Chipli in the point, but not before hitting Parveen Kumar for three fours and a six in that over.

Gambhir fell in the ninth over but by then 100 runs were already on board. Tillakaratne Dilshan (4), Abraham De Villiers (21) and Dinesh Karthik (6) departed in quick succession to give a glimmer of hope to the Bangalore team.

It was veteran Anil Kumble who brought back the hosts for a while when he picked up Dilshan and Karthik and gave away just 18 runs from his four overs.

But Shikhar Dhawan and Farveez Maharoof batted aggresively to see Daredevils romp home.

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