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Gambhir and Dhawan fire for Delhi

Twin half centuries from Gautam Gambhir (79) and Shikhar Dhawan (68 not out) powered Delhi Daredevils to 194 for 4 in their Indian Premier League match against Deccan Chargers.

Put in to bat, the hosts lost skipper Virender Sehwag (0) in the first over but Gambhir and Dhawan shared 133 runs in just over 14 overs to steady the boat even though the hosts eventually fell shy of the 200-mark.

Gambhir's 48-ball pyrotechnics included seven hits to the fence besides three sixes. Dhawan's sedate unbeaten knock was a product of his 52-ball stay during which he hit eight boundaries.

Deccan Chargers' two wins so far in the tournament came chasing and almost predictably, skipper Adam Gilchrist inserted the hosts after winning the toss.

And by the time P Vijaykumar had finished the first over, Delhi had their skipper back in the hut after a two-ball misadventure yielding naught.

If the fierce slash over the third man has fetched Sehwag truckloads of runs, it has often been his Achilles' heel as well. Vijaykumar offered the width and Sehwag went by his instinct only to find RP Singh as a hushed silence descended on the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Gambhir did not look quite convincing either. Twice he was almost caught and once he escaped a run out, making ground just in time to hang around.

The southpaw finally broke the shackles in the fourth over, milking 20 runs off it. RP Singh banged one short and Gambhir sent it over deep square leg ropes. He walked out to swat the next delivery over mid-wicket and followed it up with a full-blooded cut that zoomed past the point fielder for a four.

Dhawan was content playing the second fiddle all along and the left-hander hit Shahid Afridi for back-to-back boundaries to reach his half-century.

The duo laid the perfect foundation for a late burst but Gambhir's dismissal, stumped off a wide ball from Pragyan Ojha, came as anti-climax.

Ferveez Maharoof chipped in with an 11-ball 19.

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