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Delhi Daredevils clinch a seven-run win as Pune continue their search of play-off berth

Zaheer Khan had an outstanding day with the ball
Zaheer Khan had an outstanding day with the ball

Delhi Daredevils 168-8 (Nair 64) beat
Rising Pune Supergiant 161-7 (Tiwary 60) by seven runs
52nd game, Indian Premier League, Delhi

Karun Nair scored a valiant 64-run knock while Zaheer Khan led the bowling department with figures of 25 for two as Delhi Daredevils managed to resist Rising Pune Supergiant and win the 52nd game of Indian Premier League at Feroz Shah Kotla by seven runs.

Delhi won the toss and decided to bat first. An indecision in running saw Sanju Samson (2) run out in the first over while Jaydev Unadkat (2-29) had Shreyas Iyer (3) caught behind in the third.

Karun (64) struck five boundaries while Rishabh Pant (36) hit a six and followed it with three boundaries as Delhi ended the powerplay at 64 for two.

The pair added 74 runs off just 40 deliveries to lay a solid platform and after hitting a six and a four in the ninth over, Pant holed out to long-on to give Adam Zampa (1-29) a wicket. At halfway mark, Delhi reached 85 for three.

With Ben Stokes (2-31) keeping things tight at one, Marlon Samuels (27) finally opened up with back-to-back sixes off Shardul Thakur (0-35) in the 12th over but had to depart after edging a Daniel Christian (1-18) delivery behind the stumps.

Nair completed a 37-ball fifty but regular fall of wickets dented Delhi's momentum as they posted 168 for eight in their 20 overs with Pat Cummins (11) and Amit Mishra (13 not out) playing useful cameos.

Zaheer (2-25) provided a head start to Delhi when he castled Ajinkya Rahane (0) off the first delivery but Steven Smith (38) hit Shahbaz Nadeem (1-21) for a six and two boundaries in the fourth over.

Rahul Tripathi (7) failed to carry on as he became Zaheer's second victim when he nicked one behind. Pune were 36 for two at that stage. Manoj Tiwary (60) helped Pune complete the powerplay at 53 for two with back to back boundaries.

The boundaries dried up with spinners in operation as the pair of Smith and Tiwary added 38 runs from 30 deliveries before the Australian captain was trapped LBW by Nadeem in the 10th over.

As Tiwary was dropped twice by Delhi, Stokes (33) soon got into his groove smashing three fours and two sixes in his 25-ball stay. Mohammad Shami (2-37) provided the crucial blow for Delhi when he had Stokes holed out in the deep as Pune needed 43 to win off the final four overs.

Things did not go as per plan for the visitors as Shami accounted for the run out of MS Dhoni (5) and also trapped Christian (3) LBW in the penultimate over as Pune needed 25 off six deliveries.

Even though Tiwary hit two sixes in the first two deliveries, that also brought his fifty, Cummins (1-31) bounced back strongly, conceding just four runs in the next four deliveries to secure a seven run win for Delhi.

Karun was awarded the player of the match, Pune now need to win the final game of the tournament against Kings XI Punjab to seal a play-off berth.

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