De Villiers wins it for Daredevils
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 23rd April 2009
Chennai Super Kings cannot to look elsewhere to find reasons for not winning this one, especially having done the hard part well. Chasing a formidable 190 to pull off a win, Matthew Hayden gave them the kind of start teams dream of. But someone had to take charge from there, and that just did not happen, as they fell short, by a tantalising nine runs. The match was won for Delhi by A.B. de Villiersí 105 not out, which along with Tillekeratne Dilshanís half-century, gave them enough to counter for a rather pedestrian bowling early on.
Delhi Daredevils would also need to look at themselves, and Virender Sehwag would surely be silently congratulating himself. The bowling left a lot to be desired and one is left wondering what great day Glenn McGrath and Faraveez Maharoof are being saved for.
Hayden would possibly be the man the most disappointed man at the end of the game. Having hammered the Delhi bowlers all over the park, and with batsmen like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Andrew Flintoff and Albie Morkel to follow, it should have been in the bag, especially since the asking rate had been hauled down to less than nine runs an over, over a span of just nine-odd overs.
Suresh Raina was in his elements and managed to keep the run rate going, but almost all the others, especially Dhoni, Flintoff and Morkel being off the boil. Chennai finally managed only 75 runs off the last ten overs of their innings, having scored 105 in the first ten. For Delhi, the surprise package was young Pradeep Sangwan, the left-arm seamer who returned figures of 3/28. That, along with Daniel Vettoriís 2/29, essentially sealed the deal for Delhi.
The Delhi innings was a bit of a fairytale really, given that at times even the Indian team finds it impossible to advance once they have lost Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag at a rush. This is where Tillekeratne Dilshanís contribution was crucial. At 8/2, it would be a natural reaction for any batsman to put his head down and play out a few overs. But Once De Villiers made his intentions clear, Dilshan decided to take initial charge to allow his teammate to take some time to settle down, at the same time making sure that the run rate stays up.
The Sri Lankan really waded into the bowling, with fine timing that sent the ball into orbit and great running between the wicket which made up for any missed opportunities. A partnership of 68 for the third wicket off just 6.3 overs was what Delhi needed to stay on the chase. Dilshan finally went held by Raina off Morkel for a fine 50 off 27 balls, but only seemed to bring worse things for Chennai.
Here is where De Villiers decided to take over. While a lot has been made of the Delhi openers, the middle-order really doesnít get that much of credit. The South African changed all that with an innings of sensational poise and skill.
The on-side was peppered like never before, and six sixes from square-leg to long-on kept the Chennai fielders on the hop, to add to the five boundaries and quick runs galore. Dinesh Karthik did enough to keep things ticking over, but Manoj Tiwary could possibly have done more. Of the bowlers, Lakshmipathy Balaji would be very pleased with figures of 3/19 off 4 overs. With the kind of massacre going on at the other end (Andrew Flintoff went for 50 off four overs), Balajiís figures were worth their weight in gold. The Delhi batsmen dealt with Muttiah Muralitharan well as well, ensuring that he didnít get to dominate, and at the same time not taking too many risks. The off-spinner went wicketless, giving away 26 runs in three overs. Just the fact that he bowled an over less was a victory for the Delhi batsmen.