Aaron Moores | cricket20
Gautam Gambhir played a captains innings scoring 72 runs to help the Delhi DareDevils record a hard fought victory over the Kings XI Punjab at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.
After losing 4 early wickets, Gambhir, who batted throughout the innings, was joined by Mithun Manhas and the pair slowly built a 5th wicket partnership of 61 which helped the DareDevils reach their target with 5 wickets in hand.
Having been put into bat by the DareDevils the Kings XI suffered a torrid time losing 4 early wickets to slump to 44-4 leaving opener Bopara watching on from the non strikers end as his teammates gave away their wickets.
Bopara (56) was the only player to offer any sort of resistantís as the Kings XI ended their innings 142-9 to leave the DareDevils dangerous batting line an easy target to chase.
The Kings XI lost opener Mavinder Bisla (2) in the second over of the game after he was brilliantly ran out by Mithun Manhas who hit the stumps with a direct hit to silence the home fans.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara (17) soon followed when he was caught by Pradeep Sangwan at short fine leg after attempting to flick a delivery from Farveez Maharoof away for a boundary.
With two of the Kings XIís most experienced batsman still to come the home side werenít worried too much but when Yuvraj Singh (4) and Mahela Jayawardene (0) were dismissed in consecutive balls the panic button could have easily been pressed.
But, to their credit, the Kings XI remained calm with Bopara batting brilliantly to slowly build a 5th wicket partnership with Irfan Pathan. The pairís partnership had reached 60 before Pathan (21) was stumped by Dinesh Karthik.
The wicket of Pathan signalled another collapse as Mohammed Kaif (6) and then danger man Bopara soon departed to leave the Kings XI 113-7 and in danger of being bowled out inside 20 overs.
Sreesanth added 15 valuable runs for the Kings XI as the home side reached 142-9.
The DareDevils run chase got off to a poor start losing Virender Sehwag (8) and Dilshan (0) inside the first two overs with Sreesanth picking up the vital wickets.
With the lose of two dangerous batsmen Gambhir and AB de Villiers didnít panic as they slowly built a 3rd wicket partnership which contributed 35 runs before de Villiers (3) was run out by Piyush Chawla to leave the DareDevils 45-3.
Even though they were chasing a reasonably small total the DareDevils were happy to take their time pacing their innings even though they were slowly slipping behind the required run rate.
After losing Karthik (20) in the 12th over Gambhir, who was now joined by Manhas continued his captains innings to help the DareDevils to victory.