Delhi delay Pune’s progress

13-05-2017
DH

Pune, however, are still in the race for qualification. With a match to go against Kings XI Punjab who face must win situation.
Choosing to bat on a slow track, Daredevils, riding on Karun Nair’s 64, blew hot and cold to post 168/8. Pune’s chase couldn’t go beyond 161/7.

Captain Zaheer Khan led the Daredevils’ fightback. The seasoned left-arm seamer clattered the stumps of Ajinkya Rahane with the first ball of the innings, the moving ball sneaking past the opener’s defence. Rahul Tripathi was beaten by his off-cutter in the fifth over to be caught behind. Steven Smith batted with control and fluency, but left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who was hit for two fours and six by him in the fourth over, curtailed his progress by trapping him leg before. Smith’s departure in the 10th over quickly slowed down the Pune momentum.
But Manoj Tiwary, dropped by Nair when on 34, and Ben Stokes kept them in hunt with their 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Stokes, however, departed in the 16th over, bringing MS Dhoni to the field. He, however, was back in the 18th, after being run out. Tiwary, who was bowled by Pat Cummins on the last ball, brought Pune close but couldn’t get them the desired result.

Nair’s knock laid the cornerstone of Daredevils innings. The hosts lost Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer within the first three overs, before Nair and Rishabh Pant revived the Daredevils innings. Their third-wicket partnership of 74 off 40 balls was the best phase of Daredevils’ batting. The two went after the Pune attack with purpose, and livened up the atmosphere of a packed Kotla stadium with a flurry of boundaries. However, Pant’s entertaining innings soon came to an end off Adam Zampa. The Australia leg-spinner, replacing Imran Tahir, was slog swept by Pant for a humongous six. But the young wicketkeeper-batsman couldn’t time his shot off the next ball and was comfortably caught at long-on.

Nair, in the meanwhile, kept his head steady and kept one end busy. Marlon Samuels gave him brief company to raise 34 runs for the fourth-wicket. He, however, departed in the 14th over to a miscued pull to leave Daredevils in the lurch again. In the backdrop of restricted boundaries, Nair raised a well-deserved half century, but perished in the 19th over in an attempt to push the scoring. Stokes, who bowled a tight 18th over, left his impact on the penultimate ball of the Daredevils innings by taking an astounding catch of Shami’s big hit. It was all set to soar over the boundary, but Stokes jumped to pluck the ball. As he stumbled out of the rope, he tossed the ball inside before quickly moving back to the field to catch it. It still appeared to be a fighting total, and Daredevils made the most of it.

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