Supergiants drub Daredevils

Bowlers, Rahane power Dhoni's men to seven-wicket win against Delhi

Supergiants drub Daredevils

Rising Pune Supergiants blotted the impressive graph of the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League by handing them a seven-wicket defeat at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Thursday.

 It was hosts’ third loss in the tournament and they remain on the third place with 10 points. Incidentally for RPS, it was only their third win of the season and they too remain on the sixth place with six points.

Daredevils, without captain Zaheer Khan, Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris and Shahbaz Nadeem owing to niggles, collected 162/7 in their 20 overs. JP Duminy captaining the side, top scored with 34 runs. The hosts, carrying a veritable spin-heavy attack, comprising leg-spinning duo of Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir, off-spinner Jayant Yadav and two left-arm spinners- Pawan Negi and Duminy- could not stop the rampant strides of RPS. Despite the pitch being on the slower side, RPS reached the target in 19.1 overs.

The RPS’ chase was fashioned by Ajinkya Rahane (63 n.o. off 48 balls) who tactfully paced his innings to carry through his bat. Along with new import Usman Khawaja, he rustled up 50 runs in first six overs. The three scalps for Daredevils came only through their leg-spinners with both their seamers, Mohammad Shami and Carlos Brathwaite leaking runs.

It was Mishra who provided the breakthrough by deceiving a dangerous looking Khwaja with a slow googly, the left-hander, dancing down the track, and stumped by Sanju Samson. Five overs later, Tahir accounted for Saurbh Tiwary, who slog-swept to deep to mid-wicket where Sam Billings took an excellent catch.

It brought to the crease RPS captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose muscular heaves, hastened the visitors’ march to victory. He departed when RPS needed 11 from 17 balls with Billings once again taking a sensational catch at the ropes.

But Thisara Perera straightaway whacked Tahir for two sixes. It was then just a matter of time, with RPS needing just three off the last over, that the visitors reached the finishing line.

Put in, Daredevils’ innings was a combination of small cameos rather than individual brilliance. They lost Rishabh Pant early but Sanju Samson and Karun Nair stitched a brisk 35-run stand to make the most of poweplay overs. Nair began by slashing Ashok Dinda to third man and continued to score with urgency. Samson departed in the last ball of the sixth over but Duminy was quick to take over.

Nair was a delight on field during his 32-ball stay. He effortlessly found gaps, carved out cheeky openings behind the wicket while also dissecting the cover region with sweet timings. Rajat Bhatia, who has grown up playing in these conditions, accounted for him in his second over when Nair mistimed his inside out shot and Thisara Perera took a running catch at the sweeper cover.

However, Sam Billings with his clean hitting didn’t let the run rate dip. He slogged Ravichandran Ashwin for successive sixes over long on and straight and along with Duminy, raised 45 runs for the fourth wicket. Bhatia, however, returned to dismiss Billings who perished in his attempt to clear the long on.

Brathwaite, who hit three sixes during his eight balls stay and Duminy, who was run out, departed in succession to peg back the hosts. Negi and Shami ensured Daredevils a par finish but RPS were not be denied this night.

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