It's difficult to write much about a match that lasts all of 16.5 overs. But that's what the weather gods permitted on Sunday when great expectations got reduced to a wet wait for cricket. Delayed and disrupted by showers of varying intensity and duration, match III turned out to be a romp in the rain for the Delhi Daredevils.
That they fought back, after a brisk start by the Kings XI Punjab, through their dreaded opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who blazed away to a reduced target of 54 from six overs in a mere 4.5 was a highlight of the match. Another feature was the flier the Kings XI got off to that saw them plunder 67 in six overs.
Daniel Vettori's left-arm spin left an indelible mark on the match and ensured that the Daredevils chased a manageable target even in 12 overs.
Coming in to bowl with the Kings XI at 67 for one, the Kiwi skipper struck first ball by trapping Ravi Bopara in front. This was the second wicket in as many balls, after the fall of Karan Goel in the previous over had caused creases on the forehead of team co-owner, Preity Zinta, who was beaming and waving the team flag till then.
Vettori's straightish line and small but effective variation in pace and flight strangled the Kings XI completely. He struck once in each of his three overs to underscore the importance of taking wickets in a game expected to be dominated by batsmen.
Yuvraj Singh tried to break free but once he was run out, his team's hopes of posting an intimidating total evaporated.
Looking for early wickets, some early hammering from Sehwag was all that the Kings XI got. The rain break and the truncated target then washed out their chances. Whatever little hope they had after the restart; was hit out of the ground by Sehwag again.
Delhi Daredevils: Sehwag (c), Dilshan, Gambhir, AB de Villiers, Tiwary, Karthik (wk), Nannes, Vettori, Mahesh, Salvi, Sangwan
Kings XI Punjab: Bopara, Sangakkara (wk), Jayawardene, Yuvraj (c), Goel, T Kohli, Irfan, Malik, Chawla, VRV Singh, Abdulla