Misfields and overthrows add to Delhi’s woes in front of a packed stadium

: Delhi Daredevils can fail in many ways and they displayed another method of losing at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Monday.

11 wides, multiple overthrows and misfields caused annoyance and bewilderment. So did Kevin Pietersen’s captaincy; he chose to save Imran Tahir’s overs for the ‘death’ and allowed Kings XI Punjab to tide through a troubled passage in the middle overs.

Eventually, KXIP won by four wickets with a couple of deliveries to spare in front of a packed Ferozeshah Kotla crowd that had come to witness a Glenn Maxwell blitzkrieg.

Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t to be. An Imran Tahir googly accounted for Maxwell when he attempted an ugly on-side swipe and was bowled for 14. Tahir celebrated with his usual gusto; arms aloft and running across to the cover area.

“I don’t know what to say about my celebration. It comes naturally to me. I feel it’s a great thing to take any wicket at the international level,” said the South African leg-spinner later.

Tahir has been among the rare positives experienced by the Daredevils this season. Since he replaced Nathan Coulter-Nile midway through the competition, the Protean has not taken long to settle. Over the last two matches, Tahir has picked up five wickets for 47 runs in eight overs.

“My wife gave birth to a son a month ago. So, I’m trying to do better for him. I didn’t want to leave him. I hadn’t trained much after the World T20 in Bangladesh but I was prepared to play here,” said the Protean.

Tahir was aided by his compatriot JP Duminy who bowled economically too, in addition to claiming the crucial wickets of Virender Sehwag and David Miller.

Nevertheless, not many expected 165 to be a major challenge for KXIP. And if there were any worries, Manan Vohra dissolved them through a 19-ball 42. Despite the presence of Virender Sehwag at the other end, the 20-year-old took it upon himself to lead KXIP to a quick start. 66 were scored in the first six overs, lit up by a couple of sixes by Vohra in succession off Mohammed Shami.

Later, the promotion of another 20-year-old kept KXIP in control. Akshar Patel’s calmness was decisive as the other batsmen failed to curb their recklessness.

With 38 needed off five overs, the all-rounder found three fours off Wayne Parnell to relieve the pressure.

During the first innings, Patel had delivered with the ball as his left-arm spinners proved frugal. The high point of his performance was the dismissal of Pietersen.

After a succession of arm balls, Patel deceived the Daredevils skipper by the one that turned away and struck the stumps.

Pietersen and Dinesh Karthik did place the hosts in a position of strength through a 48-ball partnership of 71 runs but five wickets in 12 balls towards the end of the innings brought the host to its knees.

It shouldn’t have surprised many, though, as this script has been enacted by the Daredevils many times this season.