Delhi Dynamos pip Kerala Blasters 1-0 to move upto 2nd place

Delhi Dynamos pip Kerala Blasters 1-0 to move upto 2nd place
Ghanaian striker Richard Gadze's late strike in the 87th minute ensured third straight victory for Delhi Dynamos as they beat hosts Kerala Blasters 1-0 in the Indian Super League football tournament here today.

Substitute Gadze headed home a Florent Malouda cross as he timed his jump to perfection heading home from close range much to the dismay of the home fans and team's owner Sachin Tendulkar, who graced the stands.

Dynamos now have 9 points from four games after their third win and straightaway jumped to the second spot in the league table behind Pune City FC. Dynamos despite having equal number of points trail due to an inferior goal difference.

Dynamos started on a positive note as Robin Singh's shot was saved by opposition goalie Stephen Bywater.

In the fifth minute, Francis Fernandes provided a defence splitting through for Gustavo Dos Santos but the Brazilian's first touch wasn't a great one and by the time he took the second stroke, Bywater anticipated to collect the ball.

Peter ramage had a good game at the heart of the Blasters defence as he kept out the dangerous floaters sent from wide right by the former French international Malouda.
In the 43rd minute, a free-kick saw Robin failed to provide the finishing touches as it beat Bywater before going out.

Locked goalless at half-time, profligate Robin missed the chance of the match in the 67th minute after he had sights of an open goal from a rebound which he shot over.

Finally, it was Gadze, who brought smiles in the face of Dynamos manager Roberto Carlos with a perfect header.

Earlier, left-handed batsman Quinton de Kock played the sheet-anchor's role to perfection in hot and sweltering conditions to make 103 in 118 balls.

Courtesy De Kock's ninth hundred in his 50th ODI appearance along with Faf Du Plessis' 63-ball-60, the visitors did well to set up a fighting target.

But the loss of three wickets just before the slog overs, including that of the centurion, arrested their progress though Farhan Behardien (33) played a useful knock in the end.
Prior to the century partnership between de Kock – who hit 11 fours and a six - and Du Plessis, the former put on 72 runs for the first wicket with promoted David Miller (33) to provide the tourists with a good beginning.

De Kock was run out with the final 10 overs to come soon after du Plessis was dismissed and this was followed by the departure of their captain A B de Villiers, sent back by Axar Patel, off the next ball of the innings.

The clutch of three quick wickets in the space of just 9 balls, left South Africa tottering at 210 for 5 with the last Powerplay just up.

Towards the end the visitors added 60 runs, including 35 in the last five, but fell well short of the 300 mark that they were aiming for.

Indian spinners, Harbhajan Singh (1/41) in particular, applied the brakes in time, after which the Proteas steadily built up the score before losing the three wickets in a hurry.
South Africa were given a good start by their new all- leftie opening pair of Quinton de Kock and David Miller, promoted up the order after his twin failures earlier in the series, who put on 72 runs.

The new ball came on to the bat quite well and the duo flourished a bit to score a few boundary hits, including a six over square leg by de Kock off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.

The scoring rate dropped significantly once Harbhajan, who bowled pretty impressively by varying his pace and had an extended opening spell of 1 for 31 in 8 overs.

With leg-spinner Amit Mishra (1/38 in 10 overs) brought on at the other end, and with the ball getting older the going became a little bit tougher for the South Africans after the brisk start that helped raise the 50 in the 9th over.

The period between 10 and 15 saw only 16 runs scored and also the departure of Miller who looked in trouble against Harbhjan and was caught brilliantly at backward of point off the leading edge while trying to drive the veteran off spinner.

The visitors lost Hashim Amla, who too has not been in prime form so far in the series, in the 19th over when the score was 87.

The right hander was deceived by a loopy leg break bowled a bit wide of off stump as he stepped out and was stumped smartly by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Du Plessis, who scored back to back half centuries, led a charmed life as he was given three reprieves, one of those by third umpire CK Nandan.

He was lucky when on 17 to be caught off a marginal no-ball in the deep off Mohit Sharma, who used the scrambled seam and back of the hand balls to slow down his pace.

Three runs later the South African was put down by a leaping Suresh Raina off Patel who was again the bowler when Shikhar Dhawan could not latch on to a catch after diving to his right at covers in the 37th over soon after completing his third successive half ton of the rubber.

However, he departed when he scooped Mohit Sharma behind the wicket for Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to take a running catch. This was followed by the dismissals in successive balls of de Kock and de Villiers to prop up the Indian hopes.

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