Delhi Daredevils, though they have played just one game, managed to pull off a comprehensive win over Kolkata Knight Riders. It was a top-class bowling effort from Morkel, and especially Pathan, who got back his rhythm as he got the ball to swing in both ways, which ultimately made life difficult for Kolkata Knight Riders’ stroke-makers. Irfan can be very dangerous with the new-ball as he has got two varieties of swing – one is conventional swing and the other one is reverse swing. Conventional swing is what we saw in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders, where he was getting the lateral movement off the surface with the new-ball. Besides, the conditions at Durban are ideal for a bowler like Irfan Pathan and he certainly holds the key for Daredevils, both with bat and ball. Auckland’s openers are also used to these conditions and it would unquestionably be a good contest between Vincent and Irfan Pathan. A win for Delhi Daredevils, however, will brighten their chances of being in the semi-final.
In contrast, Auckland Aces lost their previous game by a big margin against table toppers Titans, who certainly possessed a strong bowling attack. In that match against the Titans, Auckland gave their wickets away rather cheaply as they were chasing in excess of 8.50 runs per over. They, however have a strong batting line-up led by Vincent at the top and carried on by all-rounder Azhar Mahmood. They need to react to pressure situations, though they played extremely well under pressure in the qualifier match. Their top order needs to spend sometime at the center, and the middle order should assess the situation, and then react accordingly. Still, Auckland have the ability, but they just need to sort out a few things.
The conditions at Durban aren’t ideal cricketing conditions. The weather still remains gloomy and is surrounded by grey clouds. Cool gentle breeze is also blowing along the ground. The conditions are not expected to change too much for tomorrow’s match. Fast bowlers, therefore would have an ideal day as they will get the ball to nip through sideways also. Both sides are packed with quality pacers, it’s about who exploits the conditions would come out victorious.
Watch out for…..
Virender Sehwag – Virender Sehwag hasn’t been in sparkling form for India and also for Delhi Daredevils. However, he played some delightful shots against KKR quality pace-attack. He also handled Sunil Narine brilliantly as he also struck him for two gorgeous sixes over extra-cover region. Jayewardene would be hoping for Sehwag to replicate the same in this game also. If he settles and stays there for more than 9 overs, then the opposition skipper is indeed in trouble.
Azhar Mahmood – This game is actually a must win for Auckland Aces. A loss would push them back and also reduce the chances of semi-final spot. Azhar Mahmood, therefore, holds the key for Auckland yet again as he has been the go-to man crisis for Hopkins. Hopkins uses him as attacking bowler. Azhar Mahmood has to find his form with the bat and needs to show patience while chasing in excess of 8.00 runs per over.If he hangs around for more than 10 overs, then he is certainly capable of playing big shots.
Prediction – Delhi Daredevils have looked the best IPL side in the tournament and they start this match as favourites. They look pretty settled as a unit and nothing has gone wrong in their game against KKR while Auckland Aces have few problems to be sorted out. Delhi Daredevils, therefore, should not find difficult against Auckland Aces.
Date – 19th October 2012
Start time – 9.00 p.m IST and 5.30 pm local time at South Africa
Venue – Kingsmead Durban