Monday, 11 April 2011

Daredevils lose opener to Mumbai Indians

New Delhi: The first outing of the Delhi Daredevils in IPL4 against Mumbai Indians was one of many surprises. An explosive start by Virender Sehwag right from the first ball turned into a swift loss of wickets after his departure in the fifth over. Viru looked threatening as he stepped out to bat; the first ball he faced from Harbhajan Singh in the first over landed only about a yard short of the ropes before being cut off. But it was the next ball that went soaring into the crowds (85 Meters) and got them roaring for more. The Daredevils were off to a good start with 10 runs in the first over.
The second over wrought havoc as Lasith Malinga came on to lead the MI pace attack. A scorching yorker from him torpedoed into David Warner’s middle stump, tilting the momentum in MI’s favor.  Young Unmukt Chand was sent in after this and was dismissed immediately by another in-swinging yorker from Malinga. A hush spread across the home ground of the Delhi Daredevils.  Malinga seemed to be in the best of form, hurling deliveries at 147kmph.
Next to go was Virender Sehwag in the 5th over when an error in judgment cost him his wicket by way of run out. He was dismissed after a quick knock off 19 runs from 16 balls. The Daredevils were now 28 for 3 with Naman Ojha and Aaron finch looking to build a partnership. 
Ojha had the crowd cheering again as he sent the ball into the stands beyond the mid-wicket area (81metres). Ojha and Finch worked the ball around for a few well placed singles in the next few deliveries. In the seventh over however, Aaron Finch lifted a ball up in the air off a Harbahajan Singh delivery and was subsequently caught. Following this, DD were 41/4 in eight overs. Next to bat was Venugopal Rao, the experienced DD batsman. Together, Ojha and Rao batted economically to set up a foundation for the DD innings. Their partnership lasted 42 valuable runs before Ojha was caught out to an Ali Murtaza delivery in the fifteenth over.
Irfan Pathan walked in next and was run out in the very first delivery. At 87/6, the daredevils needed to get things going. It was a break through by Malinga again in the 16th over when he picked up two more wickets – of Venugopal Rao and Morne Morkel. The rest of the batsmen failed to provide DD with a good score as Ashoke Dinda and Umesh Yadav lost their wickets quickly with Roelof Van Der Merwe remaining not out at the other end. The Delhi Daredevils were all out for 95 at 17.4 overs.
With a low total to defend, the Delhi Daredevils stepped out to defend their score fiercely. The DD fans found reason to cheer again as Morne Morkel dismissed D. Jacobs in his very first over.  For the next few overs, the DD bowlers kept a vice-like grip over the MI run rate despite the presence of Sachin Tendulkar at the crease, restricting the maestro and his partner- A. Rayadu to mere singles. In the 4th over, an edge off Sachin Tendulkar’s bat almost made it into the hands of a diving Viru at slips. Morne Morkel looked dangerous at this point with his away swinging deliveries. Clearly, the Mumbai Camp looked tensed even though they were chasing a low total. Another display of daredevilry  on the field came from the talented Roelof van der Merwe when he made an impossible turn-around direct hit to the wickets after diving to pick up the ball pushed to him at mid-off by Rayadu.  
With two wickets down at 6.1 overs, the game looked evenly poised as MI seemed edgy with their batting. A few overs passed as the duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma played sensibly and without producing fireworks. A good partnership between them ensued as they reached the set total of 95 runs on the last ball of the seventeenth over.  Sachin Tendulkar was the top scorer for the Mumbai Indians with 46* runs.
It should be noted that the Daredevils proved to be a looming threat in the second half despite setting a considerably low total. However, Daredevil fans will be looking for a better performance from the team in the coming matches.

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