Except Mumbai Indians, the remaining 7 teams have won at least one match this season. Yesterday, it was the turn of Delhi Daredevils, who restricted Kings Eleven Punjab to 165, which wasn’t commensurate with the firepower that the KXIP team is packed with. However, they still had a good foundation in the 14th over with 104/1 but Imran Tahir and other slow bowlers pushed KXIP in the last six overs and claimed 6 wickets including those of big hitters Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey and Axar Patel. For Delhi Daredevils, the chase of 166 did not prove much of a challenge despite the early loss of Shreyas Iyer and JP Duminy. The other opener Mayank Agarwal had Yuvraj Singh as his partner at the other end and before they got out, they carried the score to within touching distance of the victory target and DD won their first IPL match after a long long time. There was a bit of stutter for Delhi, when they lost three wickets for just 6 runs in closing stages but Angelo Mathews brought victory with a well-struck boundary on the penultimate ball of the match, when scores were already level.
Like Mumbai Indians in match no.9, KXIP chose to bat after winning the toss, presumably to pile up a mountainous score, as they used to do in last year’s tournament. Unfortunately, their most explosive batsman Glenn Maxwell is yet to strike form. Openers Murali Vijay and Virendar Sehwag began quite well with their own batting brands. Vijay however fell to a poor stroke in the fifth over to make it 33/1. But Sehwag and Wriddhiman Saha kept going for the next 9 overs, adding 71. The advantage of opting to bat first was lost since the rate of scoring hovered around 8 for most part and KXIP did not look like a dominating side. Though Sehwag produced some vintage shots, he missed far too many balls and struggled against pace and bounce from Nathan Coulter-Nile. Saha also tried to step up the scoring but the score remained on the conservative side. Saha’s fall at 104 engineered a mini collapse as three more wickets fell for the addition of just 33 runs. For third straight innings, Glenn Maxwell couldn’t get among runs. He struck 2 mighty sixes but holed out, when Imran Tahir bowled a leg-break outside his off stumps. Maxwell went for a mighty heave off Tahir and the sliced outside edge flew to the covers for an easy catch to Manoj Tiwary. After Miller was bowled by JP Duminy, Tahir also accounted for George Bailey and Axar Patel. KXIP finished with 165/7 and it wasn’t a great score for a side that elected to bat first.
Delhi Daredevils were cool in their chase of 166 runs despite losing Shreyas Iyer cheaply. When Duminy was run out in a bizarre fashion at DD’s score of 53, the 8th over of the innings was in progress. But that brought Yuvraj Singh and Mayank Agarwal together. The two batsmen were initially bogged down but grew in confidence as the innings progressed. Agarwal was calculated in his 48-ball innings that produced 68. Until the 15th over, Agarwal and Yuvraj kept themselves busy with good running between wickets. Singles and twos, however, were not taking them anywhere as the asking rate mounted to 11. Then Agarwal took out Mitchell Johnson in the 15th over that went for 18 runs. Yuvraj also opened out and together with Agarwal, forked out 15 in the 16th from Axar Patel and 14 from 17th by Anureet Singh. After the 18th produced 10, DD were 159/2 and just 7 were required in the next 12 balls. But both Agarwal and Yuvraj fell in two balls from Anureet and DD faced a minor problem, when Kedar Jadhav also departed on the third ball of the 20th over as the scores were tied at 165. Angelo Mathews kept his cool and struck a boundary to take DD home with just one ball remaining. More than the 5-wicket win, breaking the jinx of 11 straight losses in IPL held far more importance for Delhi Daredevils.