Monday 19 May 2008 

Brave Daredevils Hold Nerve To Beat Royal Challengers


Bangalore Royal Challengers 154-7 (Goswami 52, Misbah-ul-Haq 47no)
Delhi Daredevils 158-5 (Sehwag 47, Gambhir 39, Kumble 2-18)

Delhi Daredevils won by five wickets
By Pierce Morley-Barnes

The Delhi Daredevils held their nerve to secure a five-wicket victory over the Bangalore Royal Challengers with Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag starring with the bat in game 43 of the Indian Premier League in Bangalore.

Having lost the toss and being put into bat, the Bangalore Royal Challengers recovered from a poor start as they made 154-7 before the Daredevils won the match in the 19th over of their reply.

Young wicket-keeper batsman Shreevats Goswami was the main highlight for the Royal Challengers as he hit a superb 52 on debut. The nineteen-year-old held the innings together once Jacques Kallis (25), Rahul Dravid (nine) and Bharat Chipli (two) had all been dismissed in quick succession.

Misbah-ul-Haq showed why he is one of the best one day players around as he hit an unbeaten 47 off just 26 balls, which saw him blast 24 from the final over in the innings which was bowled by Rajat Bhatia

With the ball for the Daredevils, Glenn McGrath was as accurate and as probing as ever as he took 2-15 off his four overs. He received support from Farveez Maharoof who took 2-13 off his four overs, including the wicket of Kallis with his first ball.

Thanks to Misbah-ul-Haq, the Royal Challengers managed to finish on a respectable score and were still in the game as they look to gain some confidence over the Daredevils who are looking to make the semi-finals.

In reply, the Delhi Daredevils produced a blistering start that saw them fly to 60 from just five overs. Once again Gambhir showed his class at the top of the order as he became the first man to pass 500 runs in the IPL.

He was supported by Sehwag, who smashed a quickfire 47 off 19 balls as no bowler knew where to bowl to either batsmen. In the sixth over, Sehwag fell to an outstanding catch from Bharat Chipli off of Praveen Kumar to stem the run flow for a while as AB de Villiers came to the crease.

A few overs later, Gambhir (39) was on his way back after being run out thanks to a superb throw from Cameron White on the boundary.

Moments later, Anil Kumble struck as Dilshan (four) was stumped attempting a huge swing as his side closed in on victory.

AB de Villiers followed for 21 as compatriot Dale Steyn had him caught behind as the Delhi Daredevils looked like they may sink after such a superb start.

Trouble continued for the Daredevils as the game really did change in balance with Dinesh Karthik chipping Kumble (2-18) to a grateful White at short cover who took a diving catch.

But Maharoof (13 not out) came in and provided some big blows to see his side over the finishing line, including a straight-driven four to end the match.

Bangalore captain Rahul Dravid knew that the key to match was the form of the Delhi openers.

"I think we could have probably bowled a little bit better up front," he conceded. "We got to 154 which is pretty competitive on this Bangalore wicket, we knew against Delhi we needed to get one of or preferably both their opening batsmen out early, that didn't happen and they put 100 up in eight or nine overs.

"From there we were always fighting but I thought the guys fought back very well after that, I think the key against Delhi is to get their opening batsmen out early and we couldn't do that."

Sehwag was a happy man after the win, which saw his side chase the highest score in Bangalore so far.

"The bowling department did a fantastic job except for the last over," he said. "We restricted them to 154, which was a chaseable score and me and Gautam gave the team a good start and the boys did very well."

"The important thing is consistency," Gambhir said. "We cant be complacent because the next two games are must win games for us, if we want to qualify for the semi finals, and the way we are playing I think we can qualify for the semis," he added.

� Cricket World 2008

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