Crucial match for Delhi Daredevils

Sussex to face New South Wales

Glenn McGrath

Having lost their opening encounter to Victorian Bushrangers, Delhi will need their top players to fire when they take on the Jehan Mubarak-led side in a must-win game here at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Sunday.

The Bushrangers, aided in no small measure by the sub-standard Kotla pitch, laid the mighty Delhi batting low before cantering to a seven-wicket victory. Delhi, the most impressive IPL team in South Africa during the group phase, do not have at their disposal two of their key players — South African AB de Villiers and Daniel Vettori.
Even so, with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Tillakaratne Dilshan at the top three batting slots and Ashish Nehra and Dirk Nannes forming a quality bowling line-up, Delhi have the wherewithal to put it across any opponents. But if they are to put up as a limp a batting show as they did on Friday, then there is little the bowlers can do about it.

The importance of top order firing wasn’t lost on the Delhi skipper. “I think Viru and myself will have to take more responsibility when experienced players like Vettori, AB de Villiers are not there,” said Gambhir after their losing their opening tie.
Gambhir also cited lack of partnerships for Delhi’s debacle. “We just didn't bat well. We always knew there will be low bounce in this wicket but the way we started off, we should have made 130-140 which I feel was a match-winning total on this wicket. We just didn't have any partnerships.”

Delhi batsman Owais Shah called for a change in approach from his side. “I agree with Gautam that it wasn’t an ideal T20 wicket. Having said that we need to adapt to the conditions because I don’t see any drastic change in the conditions tomorrow,” he reasoned.

With Mithun Manhas ruled out for Sunday’s match with a hamstring, Delhi may include middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary while their coach David Saker indicated that there was a great chance they might play Glenn McGrath as the pitches at the Kotla are more likely to suit the faster bowlers.

Wayamba are brimming with great talent with an array of international players including Mahela Jayawardane and Ajantha Mendis. In Farveez Maharoof they have a useful all-rounder with Mubarak, Michael Vendort and Mahela Udawatte completing a solid batting line-up.

“We know we have the advantage of having watched both the matches yesterday and we know what exactly to expect tomorrow. We are definitely the underdogs against Delhi, but that is good for us in way in the sense that we are not under pressure,” pointed out Mubarak.

In the other match of the day, Sussex Sharks take on New South Wales in a Group B match.

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