Delhi Daredevils recovered from an early collapse to post a commendable 145 for four against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
The Daredevils were in trouble after being put in to bat as they crashed to 35/4 by the start of the eighth over. But a brilliant 110-run partnership between South Africa’s JP Duminy and New Zealander Ross Taylor pulled them to safety.
Duminy hammered a brilliant 67 not out off 48 deliveries, which included four boundaries and three sixes while Taylor chipped in an unbeaten 43 off 38 balls, including four fours.
Earlier the new-ball attack of Royal Challengers Bangalore dealt telling blows to rock the Delhi Daredevils top order early on in their highly-billed encounter of IPL VII at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
The atmosphere at the UAE’s oldest venue was electric, much like in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, though the contest was looking to be a one-sided one. Soon after RCB skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to have a bowl, his decision proved right as Daredevils kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Delhi were reeling at 93 for four after 16 of the 20 overs.
The Delhi openers, experienced Murali Vijay and Mayank Agarwal, started on a watchful note against a potent pace attack of Mitchell Starc and Albie Morkel. Vijay soon clipped a delivery from Starc on his legs for six over mid-wicket, just before the collapse set in.
The beanpole Australian struck in the third over when Mayank Agarwal tried a pull at a Starc delivery, only to mistime it as Kohli accepted it gleefully at short midwicket.
Skipper Dinesh Karthik, to whom the team management handed the crucial No.3 position that injured star Kevin Pietersen normally occupies, failed to justify the tag of one of the most expensive players in this year’s auction. The wicketkeeper-batsman nudged at an express delivery from Morkel, which moved away and was snapped up behind the wicket by Parthiv Patel.
The team line-ups threw up the biggest surprise as Chris Gayle, the talismanic figure of RCB, was missing from the squad with Australian Nick Maddinson preferred over him. It was a loss for the capacity crowd at the Sharjah Stadium as they missed out watching two of the marquee names: the West Indian and Pietersen.