Delhi Daredevils tame Rajasthan Royals

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{image-indian premier league_20042008.jpg}New Delhi, Apr 20: After the two opening matches of the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) saw the host team going down to the visitors, the Delhi Daredevils changed the trend and comprehensively defeated Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla here tonight.

Set to chase a target of 129, the Daredevils were benifited by an unbeaten 112-run second wicket stand between Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan who matched each other run by run to overhaul the target in just 16 overs. The Royals' bowlers looked spineless and could did not have any moments of joy in the match except for Virender Sehwag's wicket. Sehwag started in his usual style and hammered three consecutive boundries only to see the fourth delivery take an inside edge to rip away his off-stump.

However, it was all hardwork for Royals from then on as India's Twenty20 World Cup star Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan toyed with the bowling and gave nothing away.

Gambhir, who has been a revelation for India in his Twenty20 cricket career, scored 58 runs off 46 balls which was studded by seven boundaries and a six while left-handed Dhawan's 51 came off 41 balls which included eight fours.

It was just the toss that went the way of Royals' captain Shane Warne and even the spin wizard himself could not create chances for his team's revival.

Earlier, electing to bat first Rajasthan Royals were reduced to a modest 129 for eight as Daredevils' bowlers spearheaded by former Australian Glen McGrath troubled the visitors throughout the 20 overs.

The Royals looked shaky from the start itself and soon McGrath removed under-19 World Cup star Turuwar Kohli (7) in the third over of the match with just 17 runs on the board.

In the next over, Yousuf Pathan (10) was involved in a dreadful mix-up with Shane Watson that resulted in his departure only to see the latter falling short of the crease two overs later.

Mohammad Kaif, who played 19 balls to score nine runs too caved in to pressure and left his team reeling at 57 for five.

The effort from Royals seemed a little below par as the two opening matches of the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) saw both the teams scoring heavily in the first innings.

For Daredevils, Sri Lanka's Fervez Maharoof and Rajat Bhatia bowled tight spells and gave nothing away as both the medium pacers scalped two wickets each in their alloted four overs.

However, it was Mcgrath who tightened the srews on Royals and the bowlers who followed him did an excellent job to sustain the pressure created by the former Australian great.

McGrath gave away 21 runs in his four overs and claimed one wicket for Daredevils.

The Royals did not have any substantial contribution from any of their batsmen apart from Ravindra Jadeja who scored 29 runs off 23 balls which included two sixes while Dinesh Salunkhe remained unbeaten on 26 with four hits to the fence.


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