Delhi Daredevils can kiss their chances of making the Pepsi IPL playoffs goodbye now. On Tuesday night, the team’s campaign suffered, arguably, its toughest blow yet.
After the victory over Mumbai Indians on Sunday, it seemed DD may have turned a corner. However, KXIP condemned the host to a morale-dampening five-wicket reverse at the Ferozeshah Kotla here.
Chasing 121 on a wicket which favoured the batsmen, the Adam Gilchrist-led side was not expected to make a meal of it. And it didn’t.
Though the Australian wicketkeeper once again made an early exit to the dugout, Mandeep Singh and Luke Pomersbach averted a possible crisis in the beginning by sending the ball to all parts of the ground.
The first three overs yielded 40, Ashish Nehra gifting three consecutive fours to the former in the second while Irfan Pathan was hit for two each by the duo in the following over.
A slight wobble saw the two depart off consecutive deliveries in the fifth with the score at 50, but David Miller once again ensured that his team reached home safely.
Initially assisted by Manan Vohra in stabilising the innings, the South African later found an ally in David Hussey to quell DD’s challenge. However, the foundations of the victory had been laid earlier in the evening.
Buoyed by the successful chase against Pune Warriors India on Sunday, Gilchrist once again put the opposition into bat. Despite indications to the contrary, KXIP blooded in an extra overseas batsmen in Luke Pomersbach with Azhar Mahmood being dropped for the first time this season.
The bowling unit, though seemingly weakened, maintained a disciplined approach to restrict DD to a meagre total. Praveen Kumar and Harmeet were incisive, seldom letting their skipper down by not following the pre-match plans.
Mahela Jayawardene was well set-up by the former in the opening over, a couple of inswingers followed by one that went away. The Sri Lankan edged it to David Hussey at first slip and so began the team’s innings on an unpromising note.
DD’s batting protagonists ensured the script followed a similar route afterwards, Roelof van der Merwe and Virender Sehwag returning to the dugout by the end of the seventh over.
Coming off a whirlwind knock against Mumbai Indians, Sehwag’s progress was stymied by KXIP bowlers through short deliveries. The opposition’s strategy came to fruition when he was tempted by Harmeet’s length ball and drove it into Mandeep’s hands at cover.
David Warner and Manprit Juneja led a slight recovery from 54-3 in 10 overs before the latter was dismissed in the 14th. 84 for four soon became 89 for six and Warner’s departure 16 balls from the end ensured a late flurry never arrived.