Delhi keep hopes alive | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 25, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 25, 2008

Indian Premier League

Delhi keep hopes alive

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Dinesh Karthik and the Delhi Daredevils' misfiring middle order came good when it mattered to clinch a thrilling five-wicket victory and keep their semifinals hopes alive. Coming in with the team wobbling at 89 for 4, Karthik blitzed a classy 32-ball 56 to take Delhi past the Mumbai Indians' 176-8 with one ball to spare.
After a breezy start, Delhi looked to lose their way before Karthik, pairing with Manoj Tiwari (36) and Farveez Maharoof who hit the winning runs in a 13-ball 20, took the home side to 179-5 at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Mumbai, three points behind Delhi and two adrift of Chennai Super Kings, have two games in hand -- against the lowly Deccan Chargers and table-topping Rajasthan Royals -- and may need to win both to make it to the final four.
Earlier, Sanath Jayasuriya's assault gave the Mumbai Indians an explosive start but his teammates failed to build on it as Delhi Daredevils fought back. Yo Mahesh epitomised Delhi's combative spirit, recovering from a mauling in his first over to finish with four wickets.
Delhi looked to their spearhead Glenn McGrath for the breakthrough but Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar negotiated him with ease and set about dismantling the others.
Mahesh was brought into the attack but two towering sixes and an edge past the wicketkeeper for four kept the run-rate galloping. Dinesh Karthik, standing up to Farveez Maharoof, then missed a leg-side stumping with Tendulkar overbalancing. The next ball was disdainfully swatted for six by Jayasuriya and the score read 70 for no loss after seven.
The breakthrough came when Tendulkar inside-edged Mahesh onto his stumps and, with Maharoof sending down a clever mix of slower balls and yorkers, the brakes were applied.
Amit Mishra picked up the big wicket of Jayasuriya, who perished attempting his sixth six and it required Robin Uthappa's stunning 23-ball 46 to lift them to a competitive score.
Earlier, a high-scoring thriller, which produced 412 runs including 39 fours and 18 sixes, finally went the way of Rajasthan Royals who edged Chennai Super Kings by ten runs for their tenth win of the IPL and further consolidated their position at the top of the table.
After Graeme Smith had powered Rajasthan to 211, Chennai put up a spirited run-chase, thanks largely to Albie Morkel's 40-ball 71. In the end, though, his effort was not enough, which means Chennai still have work to do to make it to the last four.
With their team already in the semifinals, Warne experimented with team strategy by making four changes. After he choose to bat, Smith's 51-ball 91 and his stunning 127-run opening-wicket stand with Swapnil Asnodkar put Rajasthan firmly in control at the halfway stage at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The first six overs produced nine fours and two sixes, and with the total reading 67, Rajasthan were on their way. Muttiah Muralitharan was brought into the attack in the seventh, but he couldn't stop the bleeding either, as Smith lofted him over wide mid-on, and then slog-swept a mighty six. L Balaji was even more profligate, with Smith and Asnodkar creaming 20 in his second over.
Asnodkar and Smith fell in quick succession, but the two wickets didn't slow the run-fest, as Kamran Akmal quickly got into his stride to score a 26-ball half-century.
Chennai mounted a remarkable reply, with three of their top four making significant contributions. Morkel, Parthiv Patel and Suresh Raina ensured they kept up with the asking rate throughout -- 30 were needed off the last 15 balls, when Rajasthan tightened up their act.
Mahendra Dhoni chipped to long-off from Sohail Tanvir in the 18th, and after S Badrinath fell in the next over, Chennai were left with 15 from the last over. With Morkel still around, Chennai had a chance, but Tanvir was superb, pitching it full, on the stumps, and giving away just four runs. Eleven were needed off the last two, and when Morkel flicked one straight to short fine leg, Chennai had fallen short again, reaching 201-7.
SCORES IN BRIEF
MUMBAI INDIANS:
176 for eight in 20 overs (Jayasuriya 66, Tendulkar 18, D Smith 18, Uthappa 46*, Pollock 16, Geeves 1-50, Maharoof 1-27, Mahesh 4-36, Mishra 1-23).
DELHI DAREDEVILS: 179 for five in 19.5 overs (Gambhir 19, Sehwag 18, Dhawan 27, Tiwari 36, Karthik 56*, Maharoof 20*, Nehra 1-30, Nell 1-31, D Smith 2-22).
Result: Delhi Daredevils won by 5 wickets.
Man-of-the-match: Dinesh Karthik.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and K Hariharan (India).
Toss: Delhi Daredevils.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: 211 for 5 in 20 overs (Smith 91, Asnodkar 41, Akmal 53 not out, Pathan 6, Kaif 10, Kohli 3; Morkel 2-35, Raina 1-20)
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: 201 for 7 in 20 overs (Patel 54, Fleming 7, Raina 45, Morkel 71, Dhoni 12, Badrinath 1, Gony 2 not out; Tanvir 3-33, Patel 1-55, Warne 2-35)
Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 10 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Albie Morkel.
Umpires: DJ Harper (Australia) and SL Shastri.
Toss: Rajasthan Royals

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