The Delhi Daredevils showed what a recipe for disaster looked like. The Kings XI Punjab have now proved to be spoilsports for the two top teams of the IPL 3.
The hosts struggled on their home track and they did not help their chances through several miscommunication episodes in the field that saw two run outs of arguably two of their biggest batsmen in the team.
The Ferozeshah Kotla pitch in New Delhi showed its slow side and Delhi appeared consumed by their agenda that did not include the variable nature of the pitch. While Kotla may again court trouble and it showed those signs when the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 proved to be a low run affair with plenty of scope for the spinners and the toss becoming relevant – batting first critical.
But the Daredevils failed to apply themselves, two run outs seeing Gautam Gambhir and David Warner, returning back to the dug out. But that was after the duo, and Gambhir in particular, tried to consolidate the early loss of Virender Sehwag, the first of Irfan Pathan’s three victims.
The Daredevils blundered in their batting, trying to get ahead of the run rate by hitting their way out of trouble. The only problem – the pitch would not accede. Piyush Chawla then hammered in the nails, taking the two wickets of Paul Collingwood and Daniel Vettori, as the Daredevils crumbed to five down for sixty-three in the first ten overs.
Mithun Manhas, inducted into the match, tried to give the Daredevils a degree of respectability but his twenty-six runs were held by Rusty Theron also making a return to the KXIP eleven. The procession back to the pavilion was complete by 19.4 overs with the Daredevils scoring a woeful 111.
In contrast, the KXIP batsmen showed how it was done, steady hands ensuring that their suddenly discovered hunger was satiated first by defeating the Mumbai Indians and now doing the same for the stranded Daredevils.
The late surge from the KXIP meant runs for the Sri Lankan pair, Mahela Jayawardene relishing his opening role and captain Kumar Sangakkara ensuring another worthy knock. Jayawardene’s thirty-eight and Sangakkara’s thirty-three did not need to include any flamboyance. With a low total and an unsure pitch, all that was needed was steady, astute tending to to ensure the scoreboard read handsomely in the KXIP’s favour.
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