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Daredevils shown the door by Chargers

Deccan Chargers remained on course to defend the title as they knocked Delhi Daredevils out of the semi-final race with an 11-run win in their last Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi on Sunday. Khurram Habib reports.

cricket Updated: Apr 19, 2010 00:23 IST
Khurram Habib

Slowly, the noise sank with the hopes. The high decibel levels that brought in Sunday evening at the Kotla were stifled by the Deccan Chargers even before the Delhi innings got beyond it’s halfway mark.

Deccan were restricted by the Delhi attack, but they had defended low totals before. On Sunday, they bettered their own record the lowest target defended, by seven runs. The crowd was stunned into silence and it remained so till the last few overs, when songs, the DJs chatter and the eighth wicket partnership between Paul Collingwood and Ashish Nehra got them excited again. The faint hope at the end though, didn’t last long.

145 in 20 overs is hardly respectable total in the run-rich IPL; unless, of course, you are batting at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The track has been panned by many, but the Chargers would want to keep its soil as souvenir. They eked out a win to march into the semifinals and their victory slammed the doors on the hosts, who go out on a lower net run rate.

The Daredevils’ strokemakers found it hard to get the ball to the fence; Sehwag, Warner and Dilshan were sent back early. A diving Rohit Sharma, who seemed to have magnets on his hands on the day, dismissed Sehwag. The task became tougher with Gautam Gambhir returning to the dugout after Rohit intercepted his flick through the onside. Before they were 40, the monsters were back, leaving Collingwood and company to revive them.

The Delhi crowd, seemingly unaffected by the week-long off-field IPL drama that filled the gap between the last two games at Kotla, got another dose of ordinary cricket.

When Adam Gilchrist was checked by Ashish Nehra and Umesh Yadav put a lid on T Suman and Rohit Sharma, Delhi were ready to gallop into the semis for the third successive season. Symonds came and hit them around, plundering 24 in two overs. He hit sixes of all dimensions. But his departure meant there was no one to raise the tempo towards the end. 28 came off the last five overs and it didn’t seem enough.