24th May: Mumbai Indians v R. Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Delhi Daredevils 150-3 (de Villiers 79no, Patel 2-39) beat
Rajasthan Royals 136-9 (Botha 37, Mishra 3-33) by 14 runs
Indian Premier League, Bloemfontein
The Delhi Daredevils confirmed their position at the top of the Indian Premier League table with a 14-run win over the Rajasthan Royals which booked their place in the semi-finals.
Ab de Villiers crashed 79 not out in 55 balls to help the Delhi side post 150 for three before the Royals were held to 136 for nine.
De Villiers was in scintillating form, smashing eight fours and one six to keep himself in with a slim chance of wresting the Orange Cap from Matthew Hayden. His innings was crucial as the Daredevils, who won the toss and chose to bat, lost Gautam Gambhir (8) and Virender Sehwag (2) early.
Munaf Patel (2-39) was the man who removed the opening pair, but he was later taken for too many runs when he returned late on and that proved crucial in the context of the match.
Tillakaratne Dilshan made 33 in 41 balls before Dinesh Karthik came in and in the last three overs blasted 23 in 11 deliveries as the Daredevils cashed in on some inadequate death bowling.
The Royals also made a poor start, losing Rob Quiney (6), Graeme Smith (0), and Naman Ojha (9) to slip to 24 for three in the seventh over.
They fought back, Johan Botha making 37 and Ravi Jadeja 25 but after their partnership of 55 was broken, wickets tumbled as the Daredevils took control.
Amit Mishra grabbed two in two balls on his way to three for 33, Farveez Maharoof returned two for 27 and Aavishkar Salvi two for 19.
Patel hit an unbeaten 23 in ten balls, hitting the highest score by a number 11 in this year's tournament, but after the Daredevils secured their place in the semi-finals with a crushing performance, that will be of no consolation for the Royals, who are now in desperate danger of missing out on a second semi-final appearance in as many years.
© Cricket World 2009