Cracker of a contest between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers | india | Hindustan Times
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Cracker of a contest between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers

india Updated: Apr 03, 2010 18:20 IST
IANS
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With two convincing victories at home, the Delhi Daredevils would be hoping for another success against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) when they clash in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.

The Daredevils lost their first two home matches, but came back to beat the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals that revived their hopes and put them at third place in IPL standings with 10 points from eight matches.

RCB is also on 10 points in eight matches, but placed a rung higher at second spot on account of a better run rate.

The runners up of the last edition, Bangalore has had a fine run in the tournament. They have been bolstered by the addition of England's hard-hitting batsman Kevin Pietersen and Australian left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger, who joined the team this week after completing their international engagements.

Pietersen made his presence felt Friday, smashing 66 off 44 balls against the Kings XI Punjab to anchor RCB to victory after two defeats, which included the loss against Delhi at home.

"It is good to win after two losses in a row. It will give us the momentum back," RCB captain Anil Kumble said after the Kings XI match at Mohali on Friday.

RCB has been strong on all departments of the game. Their batting strength is phenomenal with Jacques Kaills, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli all contributing this season. Rahul Dravid, who bats lower down the order, has hardly got a chance in the middle. They are the only team to chase 180-plus scores twice.

The pacers -- Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar, R. Vinay Kumar and Kallis -- have performed admirably while skipper Kumble has been equally effective with his variations.

As for the Daredevils, injuries kept them on the backfoot for some matches. Gambhir came back after missing three matches and the team has since looked in better shape. But their reliable speedster Dirk Nannes missed the last match with a finger injury and is expected to sit out on Sunday.

With big hitters like Virender Sehwag, David Warner and Tillekaratne Dilshan in their ranks, Daredevils' strength has been their batting. The toss has been a crucial factor at Ferozeshah Kotla as the track slows down considerably in the second innings and shot making is difficult.

Daredevils had been fortunate to win the spin of the coin in their last two home matches. The batsmen put on challenging totals and the bowlers mixed the deliveries brillianltly to defend it.

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