Daredevils outplay Knight Riders

NEW DELHI: David Warner struck an explosive century as Delhi Daredevils romped to their first home victory this season, outplaying Kolkata Kninght Riders by 40 runs in an Indian Premier League match here Monday.

Cheered by a capacity crowd, Daredevils scored 177 for four after electing to bat with Warner scoring an unbeaten 107 off 69 balls – the second seen in IPL’s Season III after Yusuf Pathan’s ton – and Paul Collingwood contributing 53 off 45 balls. The bowling attack then threw their punch and restricted Knight Riders to 137 for nine.

Andrew McDonald took three wickets while young pacer Umesh Yadav got two.

It was Daredevils’ fourth win in seven matches. The win lifted them the fourth place in the table with eight points. Knight Riders, who were in the same position as Daredevils before the match, slipped down to sixth place with six points.

Daredevils had lost to Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at home, but Monday night outplayed Knight Riders in all departments.

The only blip was when Virender Sehwag dropped the easiest of catches and the batsman was none other than the dangerous Chris Gayle, who was on 24. Sehwag would consider himself fortunate that Gayle added six more runs before Rajat Bhatia caught him off Amit Mishra. It was Kolkata’s fourth wicket and snuffed the life out of the visitors.

Knight Riders were never in the hunt and lost skipper Sourav Ganguly in the third over when his stumps were rattled as he tried to slog speedster Dirk Nannes, who generated good pace.

Mandeep Singh and Manoj Tiwary were then dismissed without scoring.

David Hussey (29), Anjelo Mathews (24) and Wriddhiman Saha (20 not out) did their bit, but none could not accelerate.

Earlier, Delhi Daredevils began on a wrong foot when they lost Sehwag in the very first over.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ ploy to open with part-time spinner Gayle worked for them. Sehwag, after hitting Gayle for two fours, prepared to charge down but Gayle, having read the batsman, fired a flat delivery and wicketkeeper Saha removed the bails in a flash.

In the next two overs Daredevils lost Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Kartik, but Warner dealt in fours and sixes.

The diminutive Warner struck Charl Langeveldt for two fours before the medium pacer removed Gambhir trapped lbw.

Warner then came hard on Ishant Sharma hitting him for two fours and a ferocious pull for a six over midwicket. Karthik was out in the last ball of the over as he dragged the ball onto his stumps.

The wickets brought no change in Warner’s attacking gameplan and he continued to take the aerial route with success.

Paul Collingwood had talked about giving solidity to the inconsistent Delhi middle order if he gets a chance. And the England player proved true to his word.

With Warner giving the charge, Collingwood was happy to rotate the strike.

Warner pulled Ajit Agarkar for a four to bring Daredevils to 100 in 12th over.

There was much drama in the last few overs. Murali Kartik dived off his own in what looked like a brilliant catch to dismiss Warner just four short of his century. But the umpires were not convinced that the ball had carried to Kartik and asked for a TV replay which showed that it was floored.

Warner, who had almost completed the long walk to the pavilion, had stopped inside the boundary line and happily came back to knock his century.

Gayle came back in the death overs, but Collingwood used the long handle to hit him for two sixes and completed his half century. He was out in the last over when David Hussey took a sensational catch at the long on boundary off Langeveldt. Seeing the ball sailing just over the ropes, Hussey held it and threw the ball inside the boundary with his extended right hand, but himself went half inside the ropes before jumping back inside to complete the catch with his left hand.

Warner finished with a six and a four in the last over. Altogether he hit nine fours and five sixes.(PTI)

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