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Devils dare, finally

Kedar Jadhav's breezy unbeaten half-century and some immaculate bowling fashioned Delhi Daredevils' 17-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, thus snapping their losing streak in the Indian Premier League in Bangalore, reports Anand Vasu.

cricket Updated: Mar 26, 2010 00:28 IST
Anand Vasu

Some way short of their best, the Royal Challengers Bangalore were stopped dead in their tracks by a Delhi Daredevils’ team that came together effectively to fashion a win. The loss ended Bangalore’s four-match winning streak and boosted Delhi's confidence as they found fresh heroes in the absence of Gautam Gambhir, who was taking no chances with a troublesome hamstring injury.

To start with, Bangalore did not get their short-ball strategy spot-on, and paid dearly as David Warner went hammer and tongs at the quick men. Short in stature but built like a boxer, Warner pulled off the front and back foot with equal ease, making full use of the fielding restrictions.

Even when Warner (33) was caught in the deep, and Virender Sehwag perished to the first ball of R Vinay Kumar's spell, Delhi had enough momentum to get 64 from the first six overs. Bangalore’s bowlers then capitalised on the patchy form of AB de Villiers, keeping him on strike and restricting him from playing big shots. With few established strokemakers to follow, Dinesh Karthik could not cut loose and though the pair added 43 for the third wicket, they consumed 6.3 overs.

Just when it looked like Bangalore had the game under control, the little-known Kedar Jadhav, who plays for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy, and was part of the Royal Challengers squad till last year, pulled a special innings out of the hat. Relying on timing and placement rather than brute force, Jadhav (50 from 29 balls) gave the Delhi innings the impetus it so badly needed as the visitors ended on 183 for 4.

Kallis and Pandey began as they have so often in this tournament, caution at the South African's end matched by the opportunism of the young Indian at the other end.

The two brought up the 50 partnership without fuss, and it took the introduction of the spinner to break the

deadlock. Amit Mishra, pitching the ball in a good channel, induced the mistake from Kallis. Pandey gave himself room to hit through the off side, but in the process allowed a ball from Andrew McDonald passage onto his stumps. With Rahul Dravid run out cheaply and Robin Uthappa falling to the reverse sweep, Bangalore had dug themselves into a hole at 90 for 4. They never recovered and ended 17 runs short.