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699   //    16 Mar 2010, 12:17 IST


DELHI DAREDEVILS: On paper this is the best team of IPL, most well balanced side, everyone expects them to reach no less than the semifinals stages. With enough ammunition to destroy any bowling attack, batting is definitely their strong point, but one aspect that makes Delhi Daredevils more lethal is the performance of their non international players like Pradeep Sangwan, Mithun Manhas, Yo Mahesh and Sarbjeet Ladda.

Virender Sehwag at his best

Virender Sehwag at his best

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: A close finish in their opener, the royals were not at all disheartened, as big things were expected from Yusuf Pathan once again. Warne fielded an unchanged squad for their home match in Motera.

Delhi Daredevils won the toss and elected to field first


Dirk Nannes has been a revelation for the devils since his inclusion in the Delhi team. After a wayward first over by Mahroof which yielded 14 runs, Nannes produced a stellar of an over beating the batsmen on many occasion and also got rid of Asnodkar. Mahroof was not at his bowling best as Naman Ojha displayed his might with the bat. He launched one over long off, after hitting two majestic boundaries of 1 Amit Mishra over, but his inexperienced undid him as in a greed to get more runs he could not pick up the googly and Mishra got his revenge. But the decisive blow was given by Mahroof as he cameback strongly after being drubbed in his first two overs, to dismiss Yusuf Pathan, Pathan tried to heave a slower one over long on to be caught in the deep by AB De villiers. It was good thinking on the part of Mahroof to pitch it a touch short without any pace as Pathan had to reach out and generate more power, which he was not able to do.


Debutant Sarbjeet Ladda started of brilliantly, and didn’t hesitate in giving ample air to the ball. Pradeep Sangwan’s persistent resulted in Graeme Smith’s wicket, the Royals losing the plot. Abhishek Jhunjunwala and Paras Dogra were denied any kind of room by both the spinners as the run rate came down drastically to below 6.A partnership was the need of the hour, Jhunjhunwala and Dogra provided one; after being bogged down, they went for the kill, putting Sarbjeet Ladda to the sword in his final over hammering 17 runs. Rajasthan crossed the hundred run mark as in an attempt to accelerate; Dogra fell for 29.The dangerous Dimitri Mascarenhas proved to a flop as he was run out brilliantly without causing any stir. Jhunjhunwala held on reaching his maiden IPL 50 putting up a decent score of 141.


As if he is playing for fun, Sehwag puts bat to bowl, and it flies all over the place. 2 boundaries of the first over, another couple of 4s of Tait’s second, a Six and a four of Munaf patel, the scorecard reads 40/0 of 3 overs of which 30 is scored by Sehwag. Mascarenhas came back and got Gambhir and Dilshan of consecutive balls, Royals might have seen a glimmer of hope, but Viru curtailed any kind of hope. His magnificent 34 ball 75 consisted of not a single miss hit, all pure cricketing shots, yet it can not be termed as brutal or barbarous, it was clinical at best. At the other end De villiers struggled to get going, but well no one bothered to care, Amit Uniyal was torn apart with precision ,Mascarenhas massacared skillfully, the only respect he gave was to Shane Warne ,may be considered his old age and nagging wrist. The game was all set before Sehwag miscued a slower one by Munaf and skied it, Graeme Smith took a Karbonn Kamal catch. Mithun Manhas was joined by Karthik and they ensured that Delhi gets 2 wins of 2 matches. Rajasthan Royals were yet to open their account.

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