Daredevils rout Wayamba comprehensively
by Rohit Sakunia

Scorecard:Delhi Daredevils v Wayamba
Player:V Sehwag, KD Karthik, BAW Mendis, GD McGrath, DP Nannes
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 11th October 2009


For a game as one-sided as this, the Delhi Daredevils vs Wayamba Eleven T20 was never short of moments. It all began with a brilliant opening maiden over from Chanaka Welegedara and continued. Former Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag dazzled a crowd anticipating his shots and then came the ultimate treat. Karthik hit one of the best present day spinner Ajantha Mendis for three consecutive and probably the longest sixes of the tournament thus far.


Moments continued in the Wayamba innings as well as first Nannes hit the middle stump of their opener out of the ground. Then McGrath returned to action after a long span of time but seeing his precision, it looked he has been bowling a lot in his backyard. He took two wickets in his opening over and courtesy an excellent all-round effort by the Daredevils, they finished with a comprehensive 50 run victory over Wayamba 11.


Chasing an improbable 171 to win on a pitch with a history of being bad for batting, Wayamba got off to the most ungraceful start losing Mahela Udawatte in the first ball of the second over with just four runs on the board. From here the Sri Lankan domestic side never gained momentum and kept on losing wickets, Michael Vandort being the next casualty, again cleaned up to Dirk Nannes.


Wickets kept falling and even the most talented batsman in the line-up Mahela Jayawardene looked struggling for runs on a wicket which seemed to have changed its colours like a chameleon. After the early strikes by Nannes, comeback pacer McGrath and Amit Mishra seiged control as from 31 for two, Wayamba slipped to 36 for 5 in a span of two overs. McGrath it must be mentioned looked as precise as ever, pitching balls on the best possible areas and troubling the batsmen as he has always done.


Nannes returned and it was now the turn of all-rounder Maharooof to head for the dug-out as a spectacular catch by Dilshan ended his stay at the wicket. Jayawardene at the other end kept trying but the ever increasing run-rate and regular fall of wickets made sure even his best efforts turned futile.


Wayamba eleven fell short by 50 runs and the Daredevils made sure the enthusiastic crowd got more then anyone would have had anticipated before the game.


Earlier in the evening, in what was probably a huge pressure game for Delhi Daredevils, wherein a defeat meant elimination, skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and chose to give his batsmen the first and the best use of the conditions. Considering all the games in the tournament thus far on the ground and the quality of the pitch on offer, Gambhir's decision was hardly surprising.


As far as changes in the Delhi outfit were concerned, there were two. The most important one was the inclusion of the former Australian seamer Glenn McGrath replacing Pradeep Sangwan. They also brought in Manoj Tiwary for Mithun Manhas.


The opening combination was also changed and Tillekratne Dilshan walked in with Virender Sehwag to counter some bowlers he might have known well. Chanaka Welegedara hit the right length in the opening over bowling an unbelievebale maiden over to Tillakaratne Dilshan. Both Sehwag and Dilshan tried hitting the ball hard initially but failed in finding the gaps. Sehwag finally got going in the fourth over as Isuru Udana's slower balls and length deliveries were smacked for three boundaries.


Dilshan though never got going and after hitting Welegedara for a boundary, fell the next ball, spooning one to Jehan Mubarak at short extra cover. Delhi suffered another quick setback when Gambhir was found LBW to an Ajantha Mendis delivery which kept low. The strikes though didn't affect Sehwag a bit as he looked adamant to make amends for the last game.


Then Karthik also got going as he picked the gap at third man by dabbing Maharoof past the keeper for two boundaries in an over. He also played the perfect second fiddle to Sehwag and allowed him most of the strike. The duo gave utmost respect to Mendis and this was needed considering anyone who would have seen the previous game would have seen second rung spinners from New South Wales get prodigious turn off the track. They waited for the second spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi to come on and Sehwag slogged his first ball over deep midwicket for a huge six. Karthik too joined in the act, reaching out to drive the bowler past the covers.


The duo added 67 runs and it must be said that this partnership set the game up for the Daredevils. A frantic call for a single then cost Sehwag his wicket and Karthik's reaction said a lot about his disappointment on losing the smasher from Najafgarh. He though made sure that the innings did not lose momentum after this. In the penultimate over bowled by Ajantha Mendis, Karthik got into his elements and smacked him for three sixes in his first three balls and in the process reached also completed his fifty. Then in an unfortunate manner he slept and was stumped off the fifth ball of the over.


These smashes made sure Delhi set Wayamba a stiff total. At the halfway mark, the home team had 66 on the board and in the final ten, they managed 104 to set Wayamba a target that was at least 30 more than what both captains would have settled for before the match began.