Kings XI defeat Daredevils as rain plays spoilsport(Lead)

May 18th, 2008 - 2:44 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab rode on a spectacular stroke play by Mahela Jayawerdene and Luke Pomersbach to beat Delhi Daredevils by six runs through the Duckworth-Lewis method in their rain-truncated Indian Premier League (IPL) contest here Saturday night. Delhi Daredevils scored 118 for 4 in 11 overs, but the target for the visitors was revised to 123 after applying the D/L method.

In reply, Kings XI scored 94 for 3 in eight overs when rain came in again and the match was called off. Kings XI, ahead by six runs in the D/L chart at that point, were declared the winner.

The Punjab side have won seven out of 10 matches and with 14 points have almost made it to the semifinal. Dardevils have a stiff road ahead as they have 10 points from 11 matches.

The match which started after a delay of 20 minutes saw several rain interruptions. But the spectators who braved rain and thunderstorm to watch the match got their money’s worth.

Jayawerdene scored 36 off 17 balls while Pomersbach hit 25 off 12 balls with three sixes to see the visitors through.

As Kings XI started the run chase, Australian import Shaun Marsh, who has provided a solid start to the team so far failed and Shikhar Dhawan took a brilliant catch to send him back.

Marsh, trying to hit Pradeep Sangwan for a six, mistimed and lofted the ball to cover where both Shoaib Malik and Dhawan collided trying to take the catch but the later dived and held on to the ball even as he crashed with his team mate.

Skipper Yuvraj Singh then played a cameo, blasting 23 off just eight balls with three sixes. Two of them came of successive balls off Glenn Mcgrath but the veteran had the last laugh when attempting another six, Yuvraj top-edged and Tilekratne Dilshan resolutely held on a brilliant catch diving full length.

James Hopes was out in the next over to Amit Mishra before Jayawerdene and Pomersbach took arrived on the scene, bringing their 50-run stand in only 18 balls.

It rained fours and sixes and Virender Sehwag’s single over cost 22 runs. The duo surely had the D/L in mind as they scored 63 runs in 27 balls.

Earlier, Daredevils skipper Sehwag’s scored a quickfire half century. Sreesanth started the match with an untidy first over that included four wides and one six that came off the blade of Sehwag.

Sreesanth, though came back strongly in his next over only to be denied the wicket of Sehwag (51 not out) as Yuvraj dropped a sitter at mid-off.

Sreesanth’s agony was not over though. Two balls later Gautam Gambhir’s (40) slash went straight to V.R.V. Singh at third man but the fielder made an error of judgementand the result was four. Daredevils could easily have been down two wickets in that over. Gifted with the lives, Sehwag and Gambhir pounded the visitors’ agony and launched an offensive.

Sehwag was particularly severe on anything short and wide and thrilled the packed Feroze Shah Kotla stadium with his stroke play. V.R.V. Singh went for 22 runs in the sixth over with Sehwag hitting two sixes.

While Sehwag was dealing in sixes, Gambhir was scoring in boundaries. In-form Gambhir is already the highest scorer of the tournament with 465 runs and once again he showed his worth.

Irfan Pathan, the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament, was at the receiving end of Gambhir’s audacious strokes.

The fielding continued to be sloppy and runs were leaked. Yuvraj decided to bring in Ramesh Powar, who was making his IPL debut, and the off-spinner did not disappoint. Gambhir made room to hit him while Powar’s straighter one uprooted his stumps. Gambhir’s innings was studded with seven boundaries.

Rain came in after 8.1 overs. The match was then revised to 13 overs and then finally 11 overs when players came back. Some quick wickets fell as Daredevils stepped on the accelerator in the remaining overs and Sehwag too could not maintain his concentration - which cost the team in the final analysis.

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