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Dinesh Karthik blitz powers Delhi to massive win over Rajasthan

Coming in to bat when Delhi were gasping for breath at 67 for 4 in 8.3 overs, Karthik forged a crucial 79-run fifth-wicket partnership with skipper Gautam Gambhir in 50 balls to resurrect the innings.

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Shane Warne may have clarified that Sachin Tendulkar did no longer give him nightmares during his heyday, but a similar perception might well be fermenting for his team after they suffered another humiliating loss to Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.

Rajasthan Royals, coming on the back of four wins on the trot, were done in by a domineering bunch led by Dinesh Karthik and Amit Mishra and lost by a good 67 runs. Rajasthan Royals’ loss followed a six-wicket hammering by the Daredevils in the first-leg encounter at Ahmedabad, which had come with 17 balls to spare.

The action finally moved to the track that had got the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium notoriety after a one-dayer against Sri Lanka had to be called off because of its dubious nature, but the home side knew that the plastered pitch was as friendly as one could expect. They set a target of 189 despite early setbacks.

The Daredevils were made to suffer early on by one of their own. Sumit Narwal, a journeyman who has represented Haryana in the past but now plays for Delhi in Ranji Trophy and other BCCI tournaments, ripped through the top order with his effective seam bowling.

Narwal bowled last-match centurion David Warner with a full-length delivery while other opener Virender Sehwag’s ungainly pull was taken gladly by Paras Dogra, another Delhi-based player who leads Himachal Pradesh in Ranji Trophy.

Delhi were 25-2 at that stage and with Paul Collingwood missing out on a big score with a mix up in the middle and Kedar Jadhav charging down rather injudiciously to Shane Warne and holing up to long-on, the score was 67-4 in the ninth over.

But captain Gautam Gambhir was a steadying force in his 43 off 37 deliveries that came with just three fours, while Karthik took charge in the latter part of their 79-run partnership and went on to notch a crucial 69. The Tamil Nadu batsman struck six fours and four sixes off 38 balls and was particularly severe on Shaun Tait and Narwal.

The Royals started badly in their reply. Farveez Maharoof, coming in for an injured Dirk Nannes, struck two early blows when he dismissed Michael Lumb and Faiz Fazal cheaply. But it was leg-spinner Amit Mishra who really decided the issue during his spell of three for 25 that included the prize scalp of the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan.

Having dismissed Naman Ojha and Adam Voges, Mishra made it a memorable day with the dismissal of Pathan, who was looking threatening despite the team being down at 32-4. The Baroda all-rounder had struck two sixes off leg-spinner Sarabjit Ladda and two crisp fours through the point region off Umesh Yadav. But Mishra kept one back a little and Pathan went for a big shot and holed out at long-on.

A couple of run outs made things easier for the Delhi team, even as Sehwag and Collingwood made up a little for their batting failures by scalping a wicket each as Delhi notched up their third consecutive win.

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