Delhi Daredevils eye semi-final berth

Delhi Daredevils are in a must-win situation in their match against Deccan Chargers on Thursday after losing to Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

updated: May 23, 2008 12:04 IST
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New Delhi:

Delhi Daredevils are in a must-win situation in their match against Deccan Chargers on Thursday after losing to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

Daredevils have lost their last three matches and slipped to fifth position in the standings. They cannot afford another defeat as the competition for the semi-final berth hots up.

Deccan Chargers, on the other hand, have only their pride to fight for as they are already out of semifinal contention, having lost seven of the nine matches they have played.

The Daredevils bowling line-up led by Glenn McGrath have been the best attack in the tournament and have not allowed the opposition to get off to a flier. Sri Lankan Farveez Mahroof and youngsters Pradeep Sangwan and Yo Mahesh have done well with the ball.

Daredevils batting though has fallen apart in the last few matches. Their skipper Virender Sehwag and his in-form fellow opener Gautam Gambhir have batted with gusto and purpose.

The Delhi Daredevils were blown away by Shoaib Akhtar in their last match against Kolkata Knight Riders as the top-order collapsed like ninepins.

Sehwag knows that the batting has to improve.

"Our top order tried to play attacking shots right from the beginning and lost their wickets. We made a big mistake of going after Shoaib Akhtar and paid the price" Sehwag said.

"The bowling did well to restrict Kolkata to 133. The batsmen will have to lift themselves," he said.

Deccan Chargers batsmen, who have made little impression in the tournament so far, will have to come good.

"Daredevils are a well-balanced unit. Glenn McGrath is bowling well and they have Farveez Mahroof also. We will have to raise our game to beat them," Gilchrist said.

Both teams failed to practice on Tuesday as heavy rains lashed the capital in the morning and Ferozshah Kotla was transformed into a swimming pool.

The water-logged practice ground was slushy and the main Kotla ground soft and soggy.

"We are more focussed on ensuring the ground is fit for Thursday's match and for that we need all the time," the groundsman said.

The ground staff had pressed a super sopper into service, but with the disfunctional drainage system, it will take a lot of time and effort to make the ground ready for the match to start on time.

The signages, poles and banners were all scattered as strong wind and rain blew away everything in sight.

Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag, Rajat Bhatia, AB de Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pradeep Sangwan, Daniel Vettori, Gautam Gambhir, Brett Geeves, Dinesh Karthik Glenn McGrath, Farveez Maharoof, Shoaib Malik, Tejashwi Yadav, Yo Mahesh
Mithun Manhas, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Asif, Yogesh Nagar, Manoj Tiwary, Mayank Tehlan.

Deccan Chargers: VVS Laxman, Sanjay Bangar, Halhadar Das (wk), Herschelle Gibbs, Scott Styris, D Kalyankrishna, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Pragyan Ojha, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, PM Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, Chamara Silva, Chaminda Vaas, Venugopal Rao, Paidikalva Vijaykumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa.