The 23rd match of Vivo IPL saw two quite contrary teams going head-to-head, while Gujarat Lions has emerged as perhaps the team with the most supreme “big names” featuring in its BIG IMPACT XI, Delhi Daredevils rely more on collective team performance comparatively to individual performance.

Delhi Daredevils vs Gujarat Lions
Date 27 Apr 2016
Venue Feroz Shah Kotla
172/6 (20)   171/5 (20)
Gujarat Lions won by 1 run

Sure Delhi Daredevils once had duo of Sehwag and Gambhir opening for them, Villiers and Dilshan in the middle order, McCgrath as their bowling lead but it seems like ages ago that Delhi Daredevils was a star studded line-up, in the last few years of the IPL it has found itself often at the bottom of the table and hence being in top 4 during this year’s IPL is a welcome change – it seems that Dravid’s coaching is doing wonders for a relatively young and inexperienced side.

Delhi Daredevils won the toss and elected to bowl.

Both the sides made 2 changes to their squad from last match. While Gujarat saw inclusion of Faulkner and Ishan Kishan, the Delhi Daredevils brought in Shabaz Nadeem and u-19 WC star for India, Rishab Pant – hard hitting explosive young batsman.

The start to Gujarat Lions innings couldn’t have been better.

The fairly new opening duo of Smith and McCullum (opening for the second time), went after the Delhi Daredevils bowlers with all guns blazing. The highlight was their extremely superlative power hitting on part of these two batsmen; while McCullum likes to use his feet and come down the wicket, Smith is more traditional and likes to stand and deliver – a perfect opening combination for viewers to relish.

The Gujarat Lions raced to 110 in 10 overs

A run rate of over 10.00 before they lost their first wicket in the fall of Dwayne Smith, who looked dejected to be given out after making 53 off 30 balls. The Delhi Daredevils fought their way back into the match with some more quick wickets, grabbing the wicket of McCullum in the very next over and the same over also saw the fall of Gujarat Lions captain, Suresh Raina.

Suddenly, Gujarat Lions needed to realize the quick amends…

…on part of Daredevils to get into the match as Gujarat now found itself in a bit of a tricky situation, going from 110/0 and falling to 117/3.

What followed next was a horrific collapse

and while it looked at one stage that 200+ target is easily on the cards for Delhi Daredevils, an extremely disciplined show of bowling on Delhi’s end in the last 10 overs pushed back Gujarat’s final score to just 172.

In it’s chase, Delhi Daredevils promoted Samson to open the batting

along with De Kock – both the batsmen failed to get their side off to a fiery start and Delhi Daredevils found itself struggling at 16-3, next IN Rishab Pant (India’s u-19 star) did look good at the crease in his short stay before falling to Faulkner deep on the leg-side.

57-4 was the score when Chris Morris came into bat

and what he did was a candy-floss treat to the spectators at the stadium – making a match from a situation wherein it looked that Delhi Daredevils are well and out.

6 sixes in one over of Dwayne Smith, 8 sixes in total along with 4 fours in his 82* was even though an exemplary show of batting from Chris Morris, whose in the side primarily for his bowling; the Delhi Daredevils still feel short of the target but a mere whisker 1 run.
Bravo’s final over was terrific, having gone for a boundary on the first ball (courtesy of a drop catch from Faulkner, resulting in a 4), Bravo proved why he’s among the best death-bowlers in the international arena today.

Delhi Daredevils came close but it’s the Gujarat Lions that go away with the crucial 2 points – continuing their good run of form in IPL 2016.

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