Gambhir, Dhawan guide Daredevils to 194 against Deccan Chargers

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New Delhi, May 15 (UNI) A massive 132-run stand between opener Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan helped Delhi Darevils post 194 for four against a lacklustre Deccan Chargers in the IPL at Feroz Shah Kotla here tonight.

Gambhir continued his brilliant form in the tournament as he stroked a masterly 79 off 48 balls while Shikhar Dhawan finished unbeaten on 68.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Daredevils' captain Virender Sehwag failed to give his side a flying start and went for a duck off Vijaykumar in the first over of the innings.

Sehwag slashed a delivery wide of his off-stump only to see it being caught by RP Singh at third man.

Gambhir, meanwhile, took the attack to the opposition and gave his side the required momentum. The opener in company of Shikhar Dhawan smashed RP Singh's second over for 20 runs which included two well timed sixes from Gambhir of consecutive balls.

Gambhir was lucky to get a life when Vijaykumar was denied his second wicket. The left-hander scooped a delivery at covers where Rohit Sharma failed to judge a catch and eventually dropped it.

Gambhir was then on 29.

Shikhar Dhawan, too, started prospering in Gambhir's company as the two left-handers raised the Daredevils' 50 in the sixth over.

Half way through the innigs, the duo took their team's total to 76 for one with Gambhir needing six runs for his half century while Dhawan was on 28.

Gambhir, who is currently the leading run-getter in the tournament, reached his 50 in the 11th over and took 34 balls to move ahead of the pack.

Meanwhile, Adam Gilchrist, continued to shuffle his bowlers to get a breakthrough as the Gambhir-Dhawan duo raised a 100-run partnership in the 13th over and looked dangerous to post a mammoth total.

The two Daredevils' batsmen have already been involved in some fruitful partnerships including the 98-run stand against Chennai Super Kings here.

In search of a wicket, Gilchrist finally brought Shahid Afridi in the 14th over. But the pair gave Afridi a taste of his own batting and clobbered him for 18 runs including a stunning six at mid-wicket by Gambhir.

Gilchrist's search for a wicket finally ended when the captain stumped Gambhir off a wide delivery from left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. Gambhir scored 79 runs off 48 balls with three sixes and seven fours. However, when the opener departed, he had already laid the foundation for a challenging total.

The Gambhir-Dhawan duo put on a massive 132-run stand.

However, there was no let-off from Daredevils' as Fervez Mahroof, who joined Dhawan, did not wait too long and hit two lusty blows outside the ground.

His 19-run cameo came to an end when he fell for Ojha's flight and lofted the ball straight to Rohit Sharma who did not make a mistake this time. For Deccan Chargers, who are lying at the bottom of the table with Bangalore Royal Challengers, Vijaykumar was the most economical bowler conceding 24 runs of his four overs and claiming the important wicket of Sehwag as well.

Sri Lankan all-rounder Tilekretne Dilshan made a useful contribution of 16 runs off six balls in the death overs in which he hit a six and two boundaries.

The last over bowled by RP Singh proved a little expensive as Daredevils scored 14 runs off him as Daredevils finished at 194 for four. Singh finished his quota of four overs giving away 50 runs and went wicketless.

Shikhar Dhawan finished unbeaten on 68 with eight hits to the fence.

UNI RAR AM BD2212

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