Daredevils bowlers pull back to restrict Lions to 172/6

Daredevils bowlers pull back to restrict Lions to 172/6

Daredevils bowlers pull back to restrict Lions to 172/6
Openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith struck explosive fifties before Delhi Daredevils bowlers pulled things back to restrict Gujarat Lions to 172 for six in an Indian Premier League match, here today.

McCullum (60 off 36 balls) and Smith (53 off 30) gave Gujarat a blazing start as the dup put on 112 runs off just 64 balls for the opening stand after being invited to bat.
The way McCullum and Smith were going at one stage Gujarat were well and truly on course to post a 200 plus total but Delhi bowlers, especially Imran Tahir (3/24) and Chris Morris (2/35) bowled brilliantly in the middle overs to keep the total under their arms length.

In the final 10 overs, Lions lost 6 wickets for 62 runs after having scored 110 in the first 10 overs. It was Smith who got Gujarat off to a rollicking start, hitting Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan for four boundaries including three streaky shots to pick up 18 runs off the opening over.

After Smith, it was McCullum's turn to take Zaheer to task as the Kiwi struck the left-arm pacer for two lusty sixes in his next over.

But McCullum was little lucky with the first six as Sanju Samson put down a regulation catch at deep cover. Gujarat Lions openers continued their carnage as Smith whipped Nadeem over midwicket in the next over to bring up the team's 50 in just 23 balls.

Zaheer was forced to ring in the first change in the fifth over after conceding 32 runs in his first two overs. But the man who replaced him, Morris was also at the receiving end of the Gujarat openers onslaught as he leaked 12 runs in his opening over, which includes a six and a four from McCullum’s bat.

The duo was in a marauding mood as they did not spare a single Daredevils bowler. The home team's best bowler, leg-spinner Amit Mishra too came under their wrath as he leaked 19 runs off his first two overs.

McCullum showed why he is still the most dangerous batsman in limited overs cricket event though he has quit international cricket. He played shots to all parts of the ground to bring up his half-century off just 27 balls with the help of five boundaries and three sixes. At the halfway stage, Gujarat Lions raced to 110 for no loss.

Smith, on the other hand, got to his fifty in 26 balls but soon after reaching the feat he was out leg before to Tahir. He struck five fours and three huge sixes. But then came the turnaround when Morris picked up two more quick wickets in the next over that of dangerman McCullum and Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina to pull things back for Daredevils.

While McCullum was bowled with a well disguised loopy slow fulltoss, three balls later Raina was caught by Karun Nair trying to fend a short balls into his rib cage.

Gujarat Lions batsmen then committed hara-kiri as they lost three more quick wickets -- Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan (2) and Dinesh Karthik (19) – to spell their doom.

Towards the end James Faulkner (22 off 13) played a cameo to help Gujarat's cause.

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