Daredevils have a field day at Kotla | india | Hindustan Times
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Daredevils have a field day at Kotla

india Updated: May 16, 2012 01:36 IST
Subhash Rajta
Kings XI

Mandeep Singh had just pulled away a scorcher from Morne Morkel to the mid-wicket boundary. The Kings XI opener's eyes lit up when Varun Aaron also banged it short, and he positioned himself for an encore. The ball appeared on its way to the boundary until Virender Sehwag, stationed at short mid-wicket, rolled forward to pouch it inches off the ground.

Soon after, he picked another sharp chance in the slips to send back Nitin Saini and almost effected a run-out after that. If MS Dhoni had been watching the game, he would have certainly felt tempted to reconsider his opinion about Sehwag's fielding abilities. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/16_05-pg17c.jpg

Anyhow, the Daredevils captain sort of laid down the 'ground rules' for the game with two impressive catches, and his team promptly took the cue to come up with one of the most impressive showings on the field. In all, the hosts pocketed five catches, ran out two batsmen and stumped one to restrict Kings XI to a modest 136. More importantly, they didn't drop a single chance, and there was hardly a fumble in the entire innings.

The Daredevils batsmen, however, failed to keep up the good work done on the field. Of what should have been a comfortable chase, they almost messed it up before crossing the finish line in the penultimate over.

With just 136 runs on the board, the KXIP knew the game would be over sooner than later if they didn't send back Sehwag and David Warner in a jiffy. That's of course easier said than done, but, to their credit, they did it to open up the game. This is Sehwag's fourth consecutive failure after he struck five half-centuries on the trot. With play-offs just round the corner, Daredevils should be concerned.

The hosts, after their skipper had his stumps rattled by an in-swinger from Parwinder Awana, sunk deeper into trouble as the bowler dealt two more quick blows to remove Ross Taylor and Venugopal Rao.

Their middle order, for once, showed some spine as Mahela Jayawardene and Naman Ojha shared a 58-run partnership for the fifth wicket, and pulled their team back into contention. Ojha, before falling to a rank bad delivery from Piyush Chawla, gave the much-needed impetus to the innings with a 34. Jayawardene then, with some help from Irfan towards the end, anchored the chase past the finish line.