There was no handing over of team shirts, like Preity Zinta does, at the Supersport Park here on Tuesday evening. Instead, as Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty flashed her crossed fingers before the start of the match, her team members handed over RR flags to a few fans.
On the other side, the Delhi Daredevils team owners' box was rather quiet before the start, only to get noisier when the umpires called play. Whistles were distributed to a section of the crowd and with every shot played the decibel level increased. Virender Sehwag started things off, hitting Dimitri Mascarenhas over square-leg.
The hoots swung according to the moments of the match. It was loudest when the ball was sent cracking to the advertisement boards; fluctuated up and down when there was a danger of losing a wicket, going rhythmically with the drum beats as the bowler walked to the top of his mark, and dead silent when a wicket fell.
Poor shot selection did the Daredevils' top order in, the first four wickets falling to catches. The onus was once again on AB de Villiers, who was cheered on by his family from the Daredevils' corporate enclosure. The lone centurion of this tournament did his bit, scored a half-century and climbed into third spot in the run-getters list (176 from four matches behind Matthew Hayden's 215 and Herschelle Gibbs' 183), that was populated solely by 35-plus batsmen before the start of the game.
The Daredevils' 143 for 7 gave the Royals a tricky target. For the kind of form and the (poor) starts Royals have been getting in the tournament, the Daredevils had the edge. But Graeme Smith found an able ally in number seven Yusuf Pathan, who played yet another destructive innings and forced a drastic turnaround. Pathan's sixes silenced the whistles in the crowd, handing the Daredevils their first defeat, by five wickets.
G Gambhir c Warne b Mascarenhas 8 (6b, 1x4), V Sehwag c Kamran Khan b Mascarenhas 16 (11b, 2x4, 1x6), AB de Villiers lbw b Warne 50 (40b, 5x4, 1x6), TM Dilshan c Asnodkar b Patel 7 (10b, 1x4), KD Karthik c & b Warne 4 (5b), DL Vettori b Patel 29 (28b, 3x4), M Manhas not out 23 (16b, 2x4, 1x6), A Mishra b Kamran Khan 0 (4b), P Sangwan not out 1 (1b)
Extras: (lb 3, w 1, nb 1) 5;
Total: (for 7 wickets; 20 overs) 143.
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-25, 3-38, 4-49, 5-105, 6-135, 7-142; Bowling: AD Mascarenhas 4-0-28-2, Kamran Khan 4-0-35-1(1w), Munaf Patel 4-1-14-2 (1nb), Shane Warne 4-0-32-2, Ravindra Jadeja 2-0-17-0, Yusuf Pathan 2-0-14-0.
R Quiney lbw b Nehra 4 (9b, 1x4), G Smith not out 44 (46b, 5x4), S Asnodkar run out (Mishra) 11 (8b, 1x4, 1x6), P Valthaty c Vettori b Mishra 1 (5b), R Jadeja c Sangwan b Mishra 16 (13b, 1x4), S Warne st Karthik b Mishra 0 (2b), Y Pathan not out 62 (30b, 3x4, 6x6)
Extras (lb-3, w-5, nb-1) 90
Total: (for 5 wkts; 18.3 ovs) 147
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-31, 3-34, 4-63, 5-64
Bowling: D Nannes 3.3-0-23-0 (2w), A Nehra 4-0-23-1 (1w), P Sangwan 4-0-28-0 (2w), A Mishra 4-0-34-3 (1nb), T Dilshan 1-0-4-0, D Vettori 2-0-32-0
Man of the Match: Yusuf Pathan for his match-winning knock of 62.