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Tuesday, Nov 30th

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Delhi plays host to Indian Premier League for the first time in Season 8 as the Daredevils entertain the Rajasthan Royals in what should be a terrific contest.

The flip of the coin went the way of the visitors with Steve Smith deciding to put Delhi in to bat. The decision was well received by Delhi skipper JP Duminy, who shared he would have opted to bat anyway!

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The return of Albie Morkel to Chennai in the blue and red of the Delhi Daredevils came perilously close to haunt the Super Kings as they scripted a thrilling 1 run win in Game 2 of the Indian Premier League at Chepauk today.

Batting first on being sent in by Delhi Daredevils' skipper JP Duminy, the Chennai Super Kings posted a well under par 150-7 in their 20 overs on what appeared to be a two-paced track in Chennai.

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Yuvraj Singh and his new look Delhi Daredevils head to the cauldron that is the Chepauk Stadium to take on former Champions Chennai Super Kings in Match 2 of the Indian Premier League.

The flip of the coin went the way of the Daredevils, who slightly surprisingly opted to send the powerhouse Chennai line-up in. Chennai are an awesome side on paper with 9 present international stars including the Indian triumvirate of MS Dhoni, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, not to mention the newly married Suresh Raina.

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The Delhi Daredevils got their season up and running with a 7 wicket win against the Kolkata Knight Riders in an entertaining game in Dubai. Kolkata posted a competitive total of 166-5 in their 20 overs on the back of a half-century from Robin Uthappa (55), but Delhi chased down the target with 3 balls to spare with Dinesh Karthik (56) and JP Duminy (52*) leading their charge with half-centuries of their own.

Kolkata's decision to bat first on winning the toss seemed to instantly backfire as they lost both their openers - Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir - for ducks. For Gambhir in particular it was a cause for genuine concern as he is yet to score a run in the IPL and fell all too easily, caught at leg slip to Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery.

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The Royal Challengers Bangalore kicked off their campaign for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League with a comprehensive 8 wicket win against the Delhi Daredevils at Sharjah. Delhi, playing without their talismanic skipper Kevin Pietersen, were no match for a well oiled RCB unit, which dominated most of the game barring 5 overs to the end of the Delhi innings.

Put into bat after losing the toss, Delhi collapsed to 17-3 and then 35-4 with their all Indian top order of Mayank Agarwal (6), Dinesh Karthik (0) and Manoj Tiwary (1) failing miserably. Murali Vijay made 18 on his Delhi debut, but took 20 deliveries to get there in the carnage around him, and eventually also perished to a beauty from leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who had more than a little look of Anil Kumble about him. The leggie bowled an outstanding spell, taking 1-18 from his 4 overs and was well supported by Varun Aaron (1-9) and Albie Morkel (1-18) from 3 overs each.

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The Subrata Roy Sahara stadium in Pune was the venue of the battle for the wooden spoon as the Pepsi IPL 2013 entered its last day of the League stages. The ignominy of that tag went to the Delhi Daredevils, who were humbled by the Pune Warriors by 38 runs in a virtual no contest, thus suffering their 6th defeat on the trot.

The two captains Aaron Finch for PWI and Mahela Jayawardene for DD turned out for the toss one final time in this edition and the spin of the coin favoured the Pune Warriors India, who opted to bat first. Pune brought back Ashok Dinda for Ishwar Pandey while Delhi Daredevils brought Bharat Chipli and Shahbaz Nadeem for Unmukt Chand and Ashish Nehra.

Pune got off to a good start with Robin Uthappa in particular playing a wide range of shots early on in his innings. His dismissal for 24 in the sixth over of the game saw his opening partner Aaron Finch take up the task of accelerating the pace of the innings. Finch raced to a half century off 31 balls, but the Pune Warriors then lost Finch and Yuvraj in a matter of a couple of overs.

Luke Wright and Angelo Mathews nudged the ball around for a couple of overs before really getting into Umesh Yadav. Yadav's final over went for 24 runs and he ended with expensive figures of 1-52 from his four overs. Luke Wright was dismissed in the last over of the innings for a 23-ball 44, while Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 30 as the Pune Warriors ended on 172/5.

The Delhi Daredevils lost David Warner early on to Wayne Parnell and Mahela Jayawardene soon followed him after scoring 14, as Delhi reached 40/2 after 5 overs. Pune's bowlers kept the pressure up with some tight bowling and it got to the Delhi batsmen as both Sehwag and Chipli fell off successive deliveries to Ali Murtaza, who had figures of 3-0-5-3 at this stage.

Ben Rohrer too fell cheaply but CM Gautam and Irfan Pathan took Delhi from 64/5 to 118/5 before Delhi again lost two wickets in the same over, as both Gautam and Morne Morkel fell to Angelo Mathews. Pathan fell soon after for 24, but Delhi were never really in the hunt, and their innings folded at 134-9, 38 runs short of Pune's total. Luke Wright was named Man-of the Match for his aggressive innings with the bat.

Pune's victory helped them go past the Daredevils on the points table, and avoid the wooden spoon tag this time round (they held the tag in the 2012 edition of the IPL). Delhi ended the competition with only three wins, the last of which came on 1 May, and they had a run of 6 consecutive losses in the competition on two separate occasions.

Teams:

PWI: A Finch(c), R Uthappa(wk), L Wright, Y Singh, A Mathews, M Pandey, R Gomes, W Parnel, B Kumar, A Murtaza,  A Dinda.

DD:  V Sehwag, M Jayawardene(c), David Warner, B Rohrer, B Chipli, CM Gautham(wk),  I Pathan, S Kaul, M Morkel, S Nadeem, U Yadav.

Mini Scorecard:

Pune Warriors India 172-5 (20 overs, 8.6rpo)

A Finch 52(34) S Kaul 2-27

L Wright 44(23) S Nadeem 1-21

 

Delhi Daredevils  134-9(20 overs, 6.7rpo)

CM Gautham 30(24) A Mathews 3-14

I Pathan 24(28) A Murtaza 3-15

PWI win by 38 runs

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An exceptional 99 from 58 balls by the wolf in sheep's clothing Virat Kohli and a 5-fer from Jaidev Unadkt saw helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore edge out the Delhi Daredevils by 4 runs in a thrilling encounter at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi and thereby keep their hopes of a play-off berth very much alive.

The win for the Royal Challengers sees them maintain the traffic jam on 16 points, and gives them hope of landing a top 4 berth, while for Delhi it was another chapter in what has been a very disappointing season as they notched up defeat no.10.

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