Dharamsala: In spite of hitting the field without Virender Sehwag, Delhi Daredevils once again proved why they are a force to reckon with in IPL 2012. They defeated Kings XI Punjab by six wickets at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala, which meant that it’s the end of road for Punjab who put some fightback in the last few matches.
In the crucial clash, Punjab batsmen failed to post a formidable total for the Daredevils who chased down 141 runs in 18.2 overs.
Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and invited Punjab to bat first on a wicket which had a lot for the Delhi seamers. Mandeep Singh, who has been the man in-form was dismissed for a first ball duck by Umesh Yadav who was very impressive as he further scalped Gilchrsit (9) and Hussey (3).
Within no time, Punjab were reeling at 20/4 before Siddharth Chitnis (38), Azhar Mahmood (36) and a cameo from Gurkeerat Singh (26 from 11) helped Punjab reach a respectable total. Apart from Umesh Yadav, Morkel was the pick of the Delhi bowlers who took 4 wicket and also got the purple cap.
In the absence of Sehwag, Warner took the charge as he smashed the bowlers all across the ground. He added 82 runs along with Unmukt Chand (18) for the first wicket and was dimissed in the 13th over not before he had bludgeoned 79 runs from 44 balls.
The Australian was earlier dropped by Punjab and he was also hit on the helmet off a bouncer from Harris which required some medical attention. But that could not hamper his rhythm as he scored his fifty of just 25 balls. Apart from that dropped catch, it was a blistering knock from Warner who made a mockery of the Punjab bowling attack.
With this win, Delhi have made sure that they will end up being the table-toppers which gives them an additional chance to make it to the finals. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have also made it to the top four slot with 18 points from 15 matches with one match to go.