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Finally, Devils dare to laugh

cricket Updated: Apr 18, 2011 01:50 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Despite a dazzling start by David Warner and Virender Sehwag, it did appear for a while that the trend in the IPL fourth edition of having one team without a victory and another with a clean slate would continue on Sunday.

The Delhi Daredevils, having lost both their opening matches, had been reduced to 120 for five after 14 overs chasing Pune Warriors India's 187 for five.

In the end, the chasing team pulled through. Thanks to cameos by Aaron Finch, Venugopal Rao and James Hopes, the Daredevils crossed the line with three wickets and four balls to spare to register their first points.

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Though the Daredevils were rattled in the field by Jesse Ryder and Yuvraj Singh and faced a tough target to chase, with Sehwag and Warner opening the innings, they were not out of the game.

And the duo that had failed to fire in the first two matches turned the corner here. If Ryder's scorcher helped the Warriors cross the 50-run mark in 5.2 overs, Warner and Sehwag raised Daredevils' fifty in 4.5 overs. Once the duo perished, the southpaw run out and the skipper bowled by Ryder's slower one, the Daredevils lost momentum and lost Irfan Pathan, Naman Ojha and Matthew Wade in no time.

Finch-hitter
With 68 required off 36 balls, in came Finch and the Australian, along with Rao notched a 47-run stand in just 25 balls.

Rao started the charge with a six each off Yuvraj and Rahul Sharma. And Finch almost sealed the game with successive sixes over long-on off Shrikant Wagh in the 17th over.

Yuvraj, having got Warriors back in the match by dismissing Irfan and Ojha off consecutive deliveries, brought himself back into the attack and got rid of Finch. But Rao and Hopes knocked off the remaining runs.

Even though the 35,000-odd spectators applauded Delhi's daring comeback, they would have felt for Yuvraj and Ryder for ending up on the losing side.

The Kiwi southpaw hit a rollicking 60 off just 27 balls while Yuvraj finished the Warriors innings with three big sixes off the last three balls and then picked up a four-wicket haul.