If there was a batsman who could heavily be relied upon after Rahul Dravid, it was Gautam Gambhir. He cannot hit far but can stay long. He delivered what was required after the fall of the trio power- Sehwag, Dilshan and AB.
BALANCED START FOR KXIP:
The start got both some runs and Delhiites got breakthroughs. Dirk Nannes and Farveez Mahroof kept troubling the Punjabi guys. The stadium was roaring and with banners saying ” Mind says Delhi but Heart says Punjab”. From the starting itself the Daredevils had a edge over the Kings. Mahroof got a doubler in the last over of the powerplay when Skipper Sangakkara and Yuvraj could not capitalize from their starts but had a long hop to the hut. Next ball, Jayawardene had a golden duck and a long walk back to the dug out.
REBUILDING THE INNINGS:
With, 4 Kings back in the hut and not even fifty up on the board, it was the duty of Ravi Singh Bopara and Irafan Pathan to do the Rebuilding the score. They went on to do so, with a cautious approach and had over a fifty partnership. The team had a hundred in the 13th over. So, above 160 looked easy until the blunder Irfan Pathan did got stumped. Wickets started tumbling for the Punjabi fellows. There was nothing that Bopara could do but he too got out. But, Sreesanth didn’t leave it off, he started to slog every ball. At the end of 20 overs, KXIP managed 142 runs.
UNEXPECTED DISASTER FOR DD:
Everyone would have thought it would be an easy going for the fiery Daredevils with Explosive Sehwag at the top. But, Sreesanth did not let it happen. For Delhi’s horror, both big bucks Sehwag and Dilshan were back in the hut in the same over. Now, it was the responsibility of Gambhir and AB de Villers to rebuild the innings.
GAMBHIR LEADS THE TEAM FROM THE FRONT:
Gambhir, the skipper of DD was scoring with a cautious intent in one side. On the other end, AB was struggling and for DD’s and his luck he fell short of the crease and was run out. Gambhir would have told the same to Dinesh Karthik who came in fall of AB, just be calm and don’t get out. Karthik gave a good support to Gambhir but soon when Yusuf Abdulla was introduced, he struck his first wicket of IPL removing Karthik.
Gambhir had lost another partner in the process. Soon, Mithun Manhas came in to support Gambhir who scored his fifty and led the team to a hundred. Mitts too was striking the ball well and reduced the pressure from Gauti’s shoulders. The fifty partnership was on between Gauti and Mitts. At last, with one ball remaining Gautam Gambhir led the team to a tight victory. Match was pure cliff hanger.