Daredevils playing for pride

Cape Cobras’ victory over Victoria Bushrangers in Sunday’s first match at the Chinnaswamy stadium had knocked Bangalore out before they took on Daredevils in the second match. With Anil Kumble’s men coming on top against Gautam Gambhir’s boys, Delhi too crashed out, making the rest of the inaugural CLT20 a non-Indian affair.

With their hopes of making it to knockout stage over, Delhi, needless to say, have only pride to play for in front of their home crowd at the Feroze Shah Kotla. It may not be great advertisement for the tournament that none of the host teams is in the semifinals, but if one were to take a cue from Sunday’s match between Challengers and Daredevils, then Delhi would do well to emulate the Bangalore side.   

Skipper Gambhir said as much. “We know we are out of the competition, but we would like to go out on a winning note. It’s unfortunate that none of the IPL teams is going further but a victory against Cobras is the least we can do for our fans,” he said.

Delhi’s woes stem from their inconsistent batting. Virender Sehwag has been in great touch with two significant knocks at the top of the tree, but Gambhir and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s form has been a big letdown. Owais Shah has done little of note while Dinesh Kaarthick has fired just once. 

Dirk Nannes, who bowled at more than 150 kph against RCB, has been the stand-out bowler for Delhi while Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra had lent able support until Sunday’s bashing. Glenn McGrath was ineffective against Ross Taylor’s extravagance and they might be itching to ply their trade once again on a slowish Kotla track.

Already in the semifinals, the Cobras will look to carry on with their winning momentum while Delhi, out of the tournament, will be keen to break the same. Monday’s match should make for a great spectacle as neither side has much to lose and everything to gain.

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