Wayamba opening to spoil Daredevils party
A wounded Delhi Daredevils will have to quickly get their acts together if they desire to stay alive in the inaugural Champions League when they take on Sri Lanka's Wayamba in their second Group D match of the Twenty20 tournament on Sunday.
Daredevils had a disastrous start to their Champions League campaign as Victoria Bushrangers humiliated them by seven wickets in their own backyard in the opening match, which means the game against Wayamba is a must-win situation for the Gautam Gambhir-led side.
The Daredevils batting-line boasts of some big names like swashbuckling India opener Virender Sehwag, Gambhir, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Owais Shah among others but they cut a sorry figure against a disciplined Victoria attack last night as the Delhi side could manage only 98 runs.
And senior players like Gambhir and Sehwag will have to take the responsibility to guide the side through as a repeat of such a shoddy display by the batters will undoubtedly close the next stage doors for Daredevils.
"There is huge responsibility on me and Sehwag. From here we have to win every game if we want to be there in the competition. We have nothing to lose and I hope we will put up a much better performance in the next match," Daredevils skipper Gambhir said.
In absence of Daniel Vettori, AB de Villiers and Paul Collingwood, who are out due to injuries, Daredevils middle-order looked out of sorts against the Victoria side.
To add to the woes of the Delhi side, Mithun Manhas is doubtful for tomorrow's match after pulling his hamstring in the first game and Manoj Tiwary might get a chance in his place.
However, one good thing for Daredevils is that Sehwag, struggling for runs, showed glimpses of returning to form during his 15-ball 21 run innings.
Another concern for the Dehi side is that their bowling department was hardly tested in the low-scoring game against Victoria. Dirk Nannes and Ashish Nehra were far from impressive in the low and slow Feroz Shah Kotla track. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra failed to exploit the conditions and went for runs.
Wayamba, on the other hand, are an unknown entity in this tournament and do not have any foreign recruit in their side, which might work in their favour considering the gelling among the players.
"We know each other very well. Our big advantage is that we have played together for the last two years, so we know each other's strength and weaknesses," Wayamba captain Jehan Mubarrak said.
With the likes of former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, Mubarak, Farvez Mahroof, Ajantha Mendis, Isuru Udana among others up its rank, Wayamba has plenty of international experience in their team.
The batting line-up will mainly revolve around Mubarak, Jayawardene and all-rounder Mahroof, who has a fair idea about the strengths and weakeness of Daredevils as he plys for the Delhi side in the Indian Premier League.
On the bowling front, Wayamba has a formidable spin attack in Mendis, left-arm orthodox Rangana Herath and leg-break bowler Kaushal Lokuarachichi, who will come more than handy in the slow Kotla wicket.