A responsible innings of 55 runs by Yuvraj Singh and some aggressive hitting from Mayank Agarwal (68) helped Delhi Daredevils register their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL), beating Kings XI Punjab by five wickets, in a group league match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Wednesday.
This was the Daredevils’ first win after losing 11 matches on the trot in the competition (nine last year, two this year) that propelled them to the fourth spot in the standings with 2 points from three matches. Punjab were at the fifth spot with a win from three matches.
Chasing 166, Daredevils did not get a brisk start and when they lost skipper Jean Paul Duminy (21) in the 8th over with the score at 53, things looked bleak for them. But Yuvraj took over the responsibility from thereon. He forged an innings-resurrecting 106-run third-wicket partnership with Agarwal that brought the Daredevils closer to their target and paved their way to the victory on the penultimate ball of the match.
The pair engaged in some lusty hitting when they came closer to the target but both got out when Daredevils were inches away from their win.
But in the end it was just a minor blip on their way, though they would have liked to win more comfortably.
Earlier, experienced opener Virender Sehwag (47) and Wriddhiman Saha (39) scored the bulk of the total. Kings XI were provided a decent start through Sehwag and Murali Vijay (19). And even after Vijay’s dismissal in the fifth over, they continued their run flow.
The second-wicket partnership of Sehwag and Saha played sensibly to build a strong platform for Punjab to capitalise in the death overs. But as they tried to up the ante, seasoned leg-spinner Amit Mishra (3/41) struck to send Saha back to the pavilion.
But that did not deter Sehwag, who launched the Daredevils skipper for a huge six over mid-wicket but perished off the next ball trying to hoick him again, only managing to offer a catch in the deep.
The two quick dismissals brought South African David Miller (5) and Australian Glenn Maxwell to the crease.
Maxwell (15) struck two huge sixes but was soon talking the long walk back after mistiming a similar big shot. Miller departed soon after and Daredevils by then had lost the momentum in their bid to score rapidly and mustered to score only three runs off the last over bowled by South African leggie Imran Tahir(3/43). (IANS)