Gujarat withstand Morris' blitzkrieg

Gujarat withstand Morris' blitzkrieg

Gujarat withstand Morris' blitzkrieg

Delhi Daredevils floundered from position of strength to lose by just one run to Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Wednesday.

Needing 18 from the last two overs, Daredevils were treated to some brilliant death bowling. Praveen Kumar leaked just four runs in the 19th over and Dwayne Bravo defended the 14 needed in the final over and four off the last ball, ensuring Lions ended up on the winning side.

Put in, Lions were spurred by a century partnership from openers Dwayne Smith (53) and Brendon McCullum (60) before Daredevils fought back to restrict them to 172/6 in 20 overs. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir and Chris Morris emerged the best bowlers for the hosts.

Daredevils’ chase had begun on a false note with Dhawal Kulkarni packing off their top three batsmen by the fourth over singlehandedly. But Morris (82 not out, 32b, 4x4, 8x6), returning with the bat, firged a brisk 87-run fifth wicket partnership with JP Duminy to lead Daredevils counter-attack.

 At 16/3, it was Duminy who set down to anchor the inning first with Rishabh Pant one stage with whom he collected 41 runs and later Morris. Daredevils’ 50 runs off 10 overs stood in stark contrast to that of Lions. Smith and McCullum had raised the 50 for their team within 15 minutes of their innings and in 23 balls, the fastest for the season!

However, once Pant was dismissed, Duminy and Morris sped the run chase. In no time, fours and sixes were raining in the stadium and the momentum began to swing in favour of the hosts. Morris hammered Smith in the 17th over for three consecutive sixes, the second one bringing his 50 off 17 balls -- the fastest to do so in the season.

Duminy was caught and bowled by Dwayne in the 18th over and it proved costly for Daredevils who were on a three-match winning streak.

Earlier, put in, Smith and McCullum ripped apart the Daredevils’ bowling in their opening stand of 112 runs in 10.4 overs. The small boundaries of the stadium were breached at will, the gaps conveniently found and aerial rout effortlessly taken.

Zaheer Khan and his bowlers could not stop them from running amok. The two brought their 50s in the successive overs- McCullum in ninth and Smith in 10th and raising 110 runs in 10 overs.

But once the two departed in succession, Lions’ middle order fell apart. Imran Tahir in the 11th over succeeded in separating the two openers. Smith was trapped leg before and it opened the gates of fortunes for the hosts. Morris struck twice in the 12th over -- hitting the stumps of McCullum and four balls later undoing captain Suresh Raina with the short ball. Ravindra Jadeja’s cut off Duminy induced an edge to Quinton de Kock before Tahir returned in the 17th over to put himself on the verge of hat-trick. Lions had lost six wickets in mere 30 runs and Daredevils capitalised on it. However, they failed to do the same with the bat.

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