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  • Delhi Daredevils beat Rajasthan Royals ,stays on top

    BLOEMFONTEIN: Delhi Daredevils comfortably defeated Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match at the OUTsurance Oval on Sunday eveningThe temperature was around seven degrees when the game began and by the time the first twenty overs were bowled, it had dipped to almost one. A.B. de Villiers’s 55-ball unbeaten 79 steered Delhi to a score of 150 for three before Rajasthan made 136 for nine after its 20 overs. Rajasthan is now in the fifth place after 13 matches.

    Munaf’s brilliant catch off his own bowling sent Gambhir back with the score at 12 for one. Sehwag fell leg-before to one that was short and stayed low.

    Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir fell cheaply after Munaf Patel got off to a very impressive start. His second over fetched the wickets of both the openers and Delhi, it appeared, were heading for a batting disorder.

    Thereafter, Delhi focussed on keeping wickets intact even if runs didn’t come along as expected. But that was until Munaf ruined his earlier efforts with a disastrous 19th over, conceding 25 runs.

    He bowled a no-ball to de Villiers, who despatched the half-volley straight for six. Munaf experimented with a slower delivery for the free-hit. De Villiers pulled him for a boundary. Two boundaries later, Dinesh Karthik pulled him for a six over mid-wicket.

    All of that was in plenty as leaderboard toppers Delhi defeated Jaipur by 14 runs. In fact, they did almost everything right here, from winning the toss to posting a healthy total of 150 and getting the new-ball pair to deliver.

    Bad start

    When the chase began, Jaipur were hardly in the game. Graeme Smith went for a duck, Rob Quiney scored just six, Naman Ojha fell for nine and the only partnership to talk about was the 55-run stand for the fourth wicket. The rest who followed also fell like nine pins.

    In reply, Rajasthan had a bad start when Graeme Smith upper cut to Aavishkar Salvi off Dirk Nannes in the second over. In the next over, Rob Quiney pulled Ashish Nehra to Nannes at deep fine-leg.

    The defending champion was in further trouble when Naman Ojha found Virender Sehwag at extra cover. Ravindra Jadeja’s promising 24 came to an end after Salvi extracted bounce to force the batsman into an outside edge to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik.

    Karthik was in the scheme of things again when Yusuf Pathan sent the ball to short third man.

    Munaf managed three boundaries in the final over, but the task was beyond his reach.

    Combining well

    Before that match-defining over, de Villiers and Dilshan had combined well for a responsible 87-run partnership for the third-wicket. Rajasthan had a forgettable day in the field, dropping two catches and failing to effect a run-out towards the end.

    Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne and Johan Botha utilised the conditions effectively, but de Villiers and Dilshan were prepared to counter them with singles and twos, an approach that ensured runs came at the end.

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