Millennium Post

Lions’ 149/7 looks small before DD

Having accomplished the task of restricting the upbeat Gujarat Lions for a meagre 149/7, Delhi Daredevils’ operners guided the team towards an emphatic triumph on Tuesday. Delhi Daredevils  were 93/0  in first 10 overs with requiring another 57 runs with 10 wickets and 60 balls remaining (at the time of filing this news paper). de Kock (36) and R Pant (60) were unbeaten.

Earlier, Dinesh Karthik (53) struck a solid half century to steer Gujarat Lions from a woeful start to a respectable 149 for seven. Put into bat, the Lions, who lost their previous match after a spell of victories, made a disastrous start as they were reduced to 24 for 3 in the fourth over before Karthik’s 43-ball innings, which had five fours, took them to just below 150-mark at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Captain Suresh Raina (24) played his part in reviving the innings with a 51 run partnership with Karthik while Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a useful unbeaten 36 towards the end. For Daredevils, Shahbaz Nedeem took two wickets while Zaheer Khan, Chris Morris, Mohammed Shami and Amit Mishra got one each.

The Lions were in trouble soon after the start of the match and Brendon McCullum (1) was lucky to survive a close LBW shout off Nadeem, who opened the Daredevils bowling after making it to the playing eleven today.

But it was not McCullum’s day on Tuesday and the New Zealander was cleaned up by Zaheer in the third over. The next over, the Lions lost two wickets with Dwayne Smith (15) and Aaron Finch (5) perishing to Nadeem. Smith hit it straight to long-on fielder Chris Morris while five balls later, Finch, making it to the playing eleven for the first time after playing Lions’ first three games, top-edged to Rishabh Pant at short fine leg while looking to slog sweep across the line. The Lions were 24 for three then and they were looking down the barrel.

It was left to Raina and Karthik to steady the Lions’ innings and the duo did a fine job as they curb the big shots and concentrate on singles and doubles with occasional fours.

But just as it seemed the Lions have reached to a position of strength from where they can accelerate towards a challenging total, they lost Raina off a fine delivery from leggie Amit Mishra. The home side captain was completely beaten and Quinton de Kock effected a regular stumping.
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