Delhi Daredevils 140-5 (Jayawardene 56no) beat
Kings XI Punjab 136-8 by five wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Delhi
Delhi Daredevils booked their place in the Indian Premier League 2012 play-offs with a five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Mahela Jayawardene stroked a composed unbeaten half-century as the Daredevils recovered from a score of 37 for four to reach a target of 137 with one over in hand.
Kings XI won the toss and elected to bat first. Mandeep Singh gave them a quick start but they were pegged back by medium pacer Varun Aaron. He removed both openers, Mandeep as well as danger-man Shaun Marsh, reducing them to 43 for two in the sixth over.
Marsh was out for 13 off 15 balls, caught stupendously by a diving Naman Ojha, while another good low catch by Virender Sehwag sent back Mandeep. He made 21 runs off 12 balls, with five fours.
It brought about a mini-collapse for Punjab as Nitin Saini, Azhar Mahmood and David Miller were sent back in quick succession. While Miller was run out for four runs, Umesh Yadav accounted for both Mahmood (9 off 7 balls) and Saini (15 off 15).
He later had Piyush Chawla caught behind for ten runs, completing figures of three for 21 from his four overs. David Hussey meanwhile played the lone hand for his team, staying unbeaten on 40 off 35 balls.
He struck five fours and one six, taking Kings XI past the 100-run mark. But no support from the middle or lower order meant that they had to settle for a sub-par total, finishing at 136 for eight.
Virender Sehwag and David Warner bolted out with a fiery start, 21 runs coming off only 13 balls, but failed to capitalise on it.
Praveen Kumar removed Warner for 14 off eight balls, while Sehwag was bowled by Parvinder Awana. He had been dropped previously by Hussey, but couldn’t score more than eight runs off nine balls.
Awana then had Yalaka Venugopal Rao (7) and Ross Taylor (0) caught behind in quick succession, as Delhi were tottering at 37 for four in the sixth over.
It seemed the stage was set for another batting failure, but Naman Ojha and Mahela Jayawardene had other plans. They put on 58 runs for the fifth wicket off only 43 balls to steer Delhi back on course.
Ojha was out in the 14th over, still 40-odd runs away from the target, and after Piyush Chawla delivered a maiden in the 16th over, Irfan Pathan came up with the goods, scoring 19 off only 10 balls, with three hits to the fence in the 18th over.
At the other end, Jayawardene held fort and struck his second half-century this season. He was unbeaten on 56 off 49 balls, including eight fours, as Delhi romped to the play-offs and booked a place in the Champions League.
Meanwhile Kings XI Punjab need to win both their remaining matches against Chennai Super Kings and Daredevils at Dharamsala, and even then, things might not work out for them.
© Cricket World 2012