DareDevils survive late scare
A typical Virender Sehwag (47) blistering knock and his 90-run first wicket stand with Gautam Gambhir (39) helped Delhi Daredevils survive a middle order collapse to coast to a 5-wicket win.
Chasing 155 for a crucial victory, the Daredevils rode on Sehwag and Gambhir's rollicking start to reach 158 for five with 10 balls to spare to notch up their sixth win from 12 matches and kept them in the reckoning for a semifinal berth.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Bangalore Royal Challengers continued their characteristic wobbly start to post a modest 154 for 7, raised mainly on Sreevats Goswami's debut half century (52) and Misbah-ul-Haq's (47) late charge.
Sehwag and Gambhir, who faced only 41 balls for their 90-run stand, were cautious for the first two overs but began raining fours and sixes after that with Gambhir, IPL's top run getter, punishing Dale Steyn and his captain doing the same to Zaheer Khan.
After the second over, the IPL's top two run getters got at least two fours in an over before Sehwag was out courtesy a brilliant catch by Bharat Chipli in the seventh over after hitting Praveen Kumar for three fours and a six in that over.
Gambhir did not last long and was run out two overs later for a well made 39 (31 balls, 6X4) trying to steal a second run but failing to beat Cameron White and Goswami combine.
Needing just five runs an over after the 10th over, the visitors were cruising along nicely before the home team plotted a middle order collapse.
From 121 for 2 in the 14th over, the Delhi side lost three quick wickets in a space of 11 balls, scoring just 11 runs in the process with Tillekaratne Dilshan (4), AB de Villiers (21) and Dinesh Karthik (6) making a procession to the hut.
Cool-headed Shikhar Dhawan (16 not out) and Farveez Maharoof (13 not out), however, held on to their nerves to romp home and hand Rahul Dravid's side their ninth loss in the tournament and fifth on the trot.
Dhawan lifted B Akhil for a huge six to bring curtains to the innings.
For the home team, Anil Kumble was the most successful bowler, claiming 2 for 18 while Dale Steyn and Praveen Kumar getting one wicket apiece.
Earlier, Sreevats Goswami's debut half century (52) and Misbah-ul-Haq's (47) late charge resurrected Bangalore Royal Challengers from a wobbly start to carry their team to a modest 154 for 7.
After captain Sehwag won the toss and asked the opposition to bat, the Daredevils kept the home team under a tight lease.
Except for Goswami taking the visiting bowlers head on and Misbah scoring a 25-ball 47 (2X4; 4X6) towards the close to take the score past 150, Rahul Dravid-led side were never dominating with Glenn McGrath (2/25 from 4 overs) and Maharoof (2/13 from 4) bowling with immaculate line and length, and wickets falling at regular intervals.
Goswami, who was part of India's recent U-19 World Cup triumph, top-scored with 52 from 42 balls which he made with the help of seven fours and a huge six.
He hit a six and three fours off Pradeep Sangwan in the eighth over to collect 18 runs from that over to stand tall amid ruins. He was out in the 16th over off Maharoof while trying to accelerate the innings only to hole out at point to Dilshan.
McGrath began with his miserly self giving away just one run in the opening over and claiming the wicket of Bharat Chipli for two, caught by Rajat Bhatia in the fifth over.
The retired Australian gave away just three and five overs in his next two overs to tie down Bangalore Royal Challengers to 35 for one in the first five overs.
Sehwag, who got the flak for some of his questionable decisions in earlier matches, made some intelligent shuffling of his bowlers who got immediate success each time.
For the home team, it was the familiar top order wobble with struggling Jacques Kallis (25) edging a consistent Sri Lankan Maharoof delivery for wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik to make a brilliant catch diving to his right in the seventh over.
Kallis, promoted to open the innings, made his 25 from 21 balls with the help of three fours and a huge six off Sangwan in the second over.
Dravid himself could not carry forward his fine form of the last match and lost his timbers to Dilshan in the 11th over for nine while trying to accelerate the dipping run rate after his side could just gather 70 runs from 10 overs and 102 for after the end of 15th.
It was left to debutant Goswami who came one down to make a match out of it and the young wicketkeeper did a brilliant job before Misbah complemented him with a cameo which included two fours and four sixes.