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Delhi aiming to finish group stages on a high

The Delhi Daredevils head into their final league match of Season 2009 of the DLF Indian Premier League against the Mumbai Indians in Centurion on Thursday with a cloud hanging over the form of their opening batsmen.

While he acted very casually after their six-wicket defeat by Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wanderers on Tuesday night, Virender Sehwag, the Delhi Daredevils’ captain knows the importance of a return to form for both himself and fellow opener Gautam Gambhir.

“As long as we are winning my form is not important it’s a team game,” said Sehwag, who has scored just 109 runs in nine innings in Season 2009 of the DLF IPL here in South Africa. “Last year me and Gautam were performing really well and the middle order was not and this year the middle order is performing very well.”

Indeed they are. The Delhi Daredevils middle order has played with flair and skill with AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Karthik responsible for some of the most electrifying batting of the whole tournament. De Villiers sits second on the Orange Cap standings behind Matthew Hayden on 433 runs, and is still the only century maker in Season 2009 of the DLF IPL. Dilshan is still comfortably among the top 10 leading scorers as well on 329 runs.

Their bowling also has not been bad either with Ashish Nehra in second place with 18 wickets in the race for the Purple Cap. He has been well supported by fellow left-arm seamer Dirk Nannes who has claimed 12 wickets, while Amit Mishra with 11 wickets provides a further indication of their versatility.

For the Mumbai Indains there is nothing but pride left to play for after their Semi Final hopes went up in smoke following their defeat to the Chennai Super Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. It has been extremely frustrating campaign for a star-laden line-up including Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, JP Duminy and Harbhajan Singh.

Much of their problems have stemmed around their batting particularly the veteran duo of Tendulkar and Jayasuriya, whose performance in this year’s DLF IPL has been far too erratic. A win on Thursday though would restore some pride and perhaps place a few doubts in the minds of the Delhi Daredevils as they get set for the Semi Finals.

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