Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Delhi Daredevils
Indian Premier League 2011
Delhi Daredevils turned around their form and etched out a surprise win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala in Kochi, winning by 38 runs. The victory, only their third in eight matches, lifted them out of tenth position and upto seventh, whilst relegating Pune Warriors and Kochi to last and ninth respectively. For Kochi it was their third straight loss.
It was a slow and low track for playing, completely in contrast to the pitch in their last game at home and Delhi took full advantage batting first on it. In fact it would be right to say that skipper Virender Sehwag did, as the rest of the batsmen lacked the ammunition to escape from a poor start once again. S Sreesanth removed David Warner and Naman Ojha in the second over, with the ball keeping low on both accounts, and the score read 4 for 2. But Sehwag soldiered on, against his natural play, trying to stay at the wicket for as long as possible.
31 runs came for the third wicket with Venugopal Rao, who contributed only one run himself, as Sehwag went berserk simultaneously. Later he found an able partner in Yogesh Nagar and Travis Birt who were willing enough to stay at the crease, while Sehwag upped the ante. Nagar made 22 valuable runs and Birt added another 20, the former’s partnership with Sehwag yielding 56 runs and the latter’s 41 runs. The dashing opener meanwhile essayed a classic T20 innings as he stroked his way to 80 off only 47 balls, including eight hits to the fence and five over it. It helped Delhi reach a very healthy 157 for 7 in their twenty overs, a total which looked like 200-plus on this sluggish track.
In reply, Kochi were never in the hunt as the Daredevils’ fast bowlers did some heavy damage. Irfan Pathan and Morne Morkel shared five wickets between them, and then later Ajit Agarkar added two more to make it seven wickets for the pacers. The initial damage saw Kochi reduced to 28 for 3 in the 5th over, which later became 50 for 4 in the 10th, as their main hope Mahela Jayawardene was sent packing.
Ravindra Jadeja topscored with 31 runs and Brad Hodge made 27 runs as they were the only batsmen to show some resistance. Due to regular loss of wickets, the home team were never in the game yet somehow were only a couple of big overs away from turning it around at any particular stage. Roelof van der Merwe, playing his first game for Delhi, changed all that for good when he snapped three wickets in the 19th over
© Cricket World 2011