|Scorecard:||Delhi Daredevils v Cape Cobras|
|Player:||KD Karthik, OA Shah, DP Nannes, A Mishra|
|Event:||Champions League 2009/10|
Delhi Daredevils followed another Indian team, the Royal Challengers Bangalore to miss the seat in the final four but win their last league game and gather back some form of respectability and lost pride.
After scoring a small 114 in their 20 overs, a total which at all times till they batted looked a sorry figure, the Daredevils bowled with all heart and ran over the Cobra batting, leaving most of them stunned. It was a day when Amit Mishra made a statement that the four overs for 59 in the last game was a one off day of his life. He bowled with great guile and it looked that only the bowler was the one who controlled the state of affairs in the middle.
Resultant of all these efforts, Delhi made sure the Cobras fell way short of the small total to chase. The Cobras lost by 30 runs and finally the home crowd had something to cheer.
Chasing a tricky 115 to win, Delhi threw the leather first up to offie Dilshan who struck in the very second ball, making sure Hershchelle Gibbs bad run in the tournament continued. From the other end Dirk Nannes bowled like he was in the form of his life. He was pacy, moved the ball and even on this pitch, because of his pace the ball easily carried to the keeper.
His persistence with brilliant line and length continued and was rewarded by Andrew Puttick's wicket sooner. The Cobras skipper could not match the pace and his off stick was uprooted by a 146 km/hr delivery.
Then Henry Davids and Jean Paul Duminy took the attack to the Daredevils and looked pretty good to run away to the target just when the inevitable struck. Pradeep Sangwan hit bulls eye as Davids fell inches short of the crease. Then on the wickets kept falling and the game turned on the head almost diametrically.
Rory Kleinveldt and Duminy became Amit Mishra's victim's as the leggie turned the heat on the Cobras after being smacked by Ross Taylor in the last match. This was a serious comeback for the Delhi spinner after his figures of 59 runs in four overs in the last game left everyone questioning his selection.
After Mishra finished, Dilshan and Nannes took over. As Dilshan picked up Ontong, Nannes returned for his last over and uprooted the timber of both Ryan Canning and Claude Henderson. The last two wickets also fell soon thereafter and Delhi finally walked away with some pride beating Cape Cobras by .... runs. Earlier, Cape Cobra skipper Andrew Puttick won the toss and to everyone's surprise opted to bowl against Delhi Daredevils on a sluggish pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The only result that the game
was to bring was the decision of whom the Cobras will face in the semifinals. Both sides came out with a few changes as Herschelle Gibbs, who opted to sit out of the gameagainst Royal Challengers Bangalore, returned and seamer Francois Plaatjies was also named in the Cobras 11. Derek Brand, who kept wicket and opened the batting against Bangalore, was replaced by Ryan Canning. Delhi on the other hand with nothing to lose, decided to give their reserves a chance. Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra and Glenn McGrath all made way for Yogesh Nagar and seamers Aavishkar Salvi and Pradeep Sangwan.
In the absence of Sehwag, Delhi was banking heavily on their explosive opening pair of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Gautam Gambhir to take care of the unfavourable conditions with an attacking start. The experience duo though did not show any grace first up, both falling in the second over, cleaned up by Rory Kleinveldt.
Manoj Tiwari and Dinesh Karthik then added 40 runs for the third wicket. The duo, especially Dinesh Karthik had started to look dangerous, as he hit Kleinveldt for three boundaries off consecutive deliveries. The partnership was finally broken by Henderson as Tiwari played one across the line and missed it altogether.
Two runs later, the best batsman on the day, Karthik was run out in a disappointing manner. He and Owais Shah both ended in the same zone after Puttick, fielded one brilliantly diving to his right and found all the time to run out Karthik. The run-rate which never was great, now was brought further down because of the fall of wickets and the new batsman's inabilities to get going immediately.
Yogesh Nagar and Owais Shah then stiched 34 runs together but such was the pace of the partnership that it took the team nowhere. There were no boundaries between the 6th and the 16th over and finally in a bid to take the score somewhere close to respectability, Nagar fell to the spin of Justin Ontong. Owais Shah though was in no mood to be quiet from here. The next ball went into the stands for a huge six and then on he always looked to accelerate though with very little support from the other end.
Finally with all his efforts and a few edges that went for boundaries the Daredevils scaled a total some 20 runs lesser then they would have settled in the beginning. But considering the start and the fall of wickets mid-way this wasnt all that bad either.