DareDevils seal easy victory
A magnificent 86 from Gautam Gambhir powered the Delhi DareDevils to a 10 run victory over the Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
Chasing a target of 192, the Challengers could only make 181 for five wickets from 20 overs at the full-capacity Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.
The Daredevils moved to the second spot in the IPL standings after their third victory from four matches while the Royal Challengers' misery continued as they were left languishing at the bottom of the standings of the eight-team league after four losses from five matches.
Gambhir, who struck 86 off 54 balls, was the hero of the day as he helped the Daredevils post a challenging total. Shikhar Dhawan with his well-struck 50 from 33 deliveries gave him support as the Delhi team rediscovered their momentum after losing their last match against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Sunday night .
Chasing 192 was always going to be tough for the visitors and they failed to get a good partnership going. Jacques Kallis was the top scorer with 54 while skipper Rahul Dravid made 38.
For the Daredevils, Glenn McGrath (4-29) was the top performer with the ball.
Put into bat, the stage was set for Daredevils batsmen to fire on a good batting track. Much was expected from Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag (24) who shone albeit momentarily.
Gambhir started the fireworks in the second over as he hit Zaheer Khan for three consecutive boundaries. In the next over, he was again severe on South African pacer Dale Steyn, hitting the pacer for two sweetly-timed boundaries.
Gambhir's big hits inspired Sehwag and again Zaheer was on the firing line. Sehwag spanked his first three deliveries for 6, 4 and 4 to get the partisan crowd swaying.
The Kotla track is never known to assist seamers and by now Dravid that his decision to bowl first had backfired.
The Challengers skipper replaced Zaheer with Vinay Kumar but the result was the same, as he could not find any solution to stop the Daredevils openers from playing their shots.
It was the fielders who gave the Bangalore team their first breakthrough when Ross Taylor's direct throw from point found Sehwag short of ground in the fifth over.
Dhawan joined the party in the middle and did not take much time to settle down. Dhawan and Gambhir applied themselves cleverly and found the gaps at a rapid pace.
The duo added 98 runs for the second wicket and left Dravid struggling for ideas.
Vinay Kumar gave Dhawan width and the Delhi batsman's delicate cuts raced onto the boundary.
Dhawan adapted well to the slow deliveries of Kallis and hit the South African for a huge six. However, Kallis had the last laugh after Dravid took a stunning catch at the midwicket to end the young batsman's 33-ball innings.
Gambhir on the other end was in fine touch. His boundaries were a treat to watch. His knock finally came to an end in the 19th over after he miscued Zaheer's delivery and Parveen Kumar lapped up the resultant catch at deep midwicket. But by then the Delhi opener had set the stage for his team's win.