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Delhi inching towards semifinals

Bangalore had their moments, but Delhi were just too strong, getting the two points they were desperately after. Anand Vasu reports.Where they stand | Most runs in an over in IPL 2008 | Delhi beat B'lore: See pics
Hindustan Times | By Anand Vasu, Bangalore
UPDATED ON MAY 21, 2008 02:59 AM IST

Delhi reverted to the script that brought them so much early success in the tournament, their top-order batsmen showing the beleaguered Bangalore team just how it's done after the bowling had played its part in restricting the home team to 154/7. Bangalore had their moments, but Delhi were just too strong, getting the two points they were desperately after with five wickets and 10 balls to spare.

Left and right
The flashing blades of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag should be enough to put serious fear in the minds of opposition. But if there's one thing more dangerous than this duo going hell for leather it is them playing with some restraint. The two brought their A-game to the middle, taking 60 off the first five overs and then racing to 90 off only 7 before Sehwag cut Praveen Kumar to be well caught by Bharat Chipli at point. Sehwag's 47 came off a mere 19 balls and included some of the most sweetly timed and placed shots of the tournament.

Shikhar Dhawan, who normally bats at one drop, was held back with A.B. de Villiers walking in to keep the left-and-right combination going. Gambhir continued his phenomenal run of success, becoming the first batsman of the tournament to notch up 500 runs in the course of his 39, an innings cut short only by an over-ambitious second run against the throw of Dale Steyn. From 90 for no loss to 132/5 5 Delhi suffered a dangerous wobble, but got home with some ease.

Miserly M’s
Glenn McGrath has been his captain's delight all tournament and he just kept up the good work. He returned figures of 4-0-15-2 in two spells, and would have finished even better had he not conceded a boundary off the last ball of each. What was a pleasant surprise for Sehwag, though, was that McGrath's economy was trumped by Farveez Maharoof. Cashing in on Bangalore's reluctantly attacking middle-overs batting Maharoof skidded his four overs through, ending on 4-0-13-2.

Saving the blushes
If Bangalore is a team for whom everything has gone wrong, it was an innings where every move threatened to backfire. Had it not been for the effervescent and daring batting of Shreevats Goswami, making his IPL debut, and a late flourish from Misbah-ul-Haq Bangalore may not have even reached respectability. Goswami pulled and flicked all comers with crisp shots to make 52 while Misbah powered to an unbeaten 47.

The big three
Pradeep Sangwan, distinctly off-colour, gave 19 off a stubbornly short-pitched second over of the innings and was promptly dismissed to the outfield. When he returned in the 8th over Goswami feasted, pulling a six well in front of square, dabbing a glance around the corner and capping things off with a short-arm jab down to fine-leg in an 18-run over. The third big over that hurt Delhi was the last, bowled by Rajat Bhatia. Misbah powered a low-full toss over midwicket, blasted a near-yorker over cover and picked off the slower ball over wide mid-on for the third six of an over that would include a straight hit for four and cost 24 runs. With that final push Bangalore ended on 154, but it would prove short.

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