Rajat Bhatia has done this many a time for Delhi. Far away from home at the Kingsmead, he did it once again with his ‘innocuous’ inswingers to help Team Delhi snatch an unlikely 12-run win over Team Hyderabad. Delhi now are virtually assured of a semifinal spot.
Andrew Symonds (41) and Adam Gilchrist (64 off 33 balls) had all but done the job for Hyderabad, when Bhatia came to the party.
Symonds missed the line of Bhatia’s inswinger to find his stumps shattered in the 18th over. The allrounder followed it up with the wicket of the dangerous Dwayne Smith and Delhi were firmly back in control. Hyderabad needed 14 off the last over, but Bhatia kept his cool and gave away only one run.
Earlier, it was all about the Aussie swagger as Hyderabad started off the blocks in a hurry in their chase of 173. It seemed Hyderabad had broken down the run-chase into two halves of 10 overs. While the first was taken care by Gilchrist (64 off 33 balls), Symonds was in charge of the last 10.
With 90 required off the last 10, Symonds thrashed the Delhi bowlers all around the park.
As for Dirk Nannes, Symonds simply made a bit of room for himself and thrashed him over the top, making a mockery of his compatriot’s bowling figures. But all the good work went down the drain as Bhatia rose to the occasion.
If Bhatia was the hero with the ball, Dinesh Karthik starred with the bat as Delhi put up a challenging total. Just when his team looked to struggle to 150 after losing their way in the middle, he cut lose as he plundered 23 off the last Chaminda Vaas over.
Karthik picked his spots against the crafty Vaas to perfection as the ball kept disappearing into the galleries. As runs bled in the last over, the normally economical Vaas, too, lost his length just a bit and the yorkers didn’t quite land. Karthik could get easily under those deliveries and kept hitting over the top.
It came down to Karthik after Team Delhi struggled just a bit following the initial flourish. AB de Villiers and Tillekeratne Dilshan had set it up nicely for them, but Virender Sehwag (11), batting at No. 5 after an injury lay-off, couldn’t carry on with the good work.