Morkel, Warner seal Delhi win
Morne Morkel grabbed four wickets before David Warner smashed a fifty as the Delhi Daredevils ended the Kings XI Punjab’s participation in the IPL thanks to a six-wicket win at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Saturday.
Punjab needed to win the match to have a chance to qualify for the playoffs but Morkel snared 4-20 as the Kings XI were held to 141 for eight.
Warner then blitzed his way to 79 off 44 balls with 10 fours and four sixes as Delhi cantered to 145 for four with 10 balls of their innings remaining.
The result means that Delhi are assured of finishing at the top of the table after the group stage while Punjab end on 16 points, one point behind the fourth-placed Chennai Super Kings.
Morkel picked up three wickets in the penultimate over of Punjab’s innings to complete a fine comeback from Morkel who had figures of 0-15 after two overs as he took advantage of a pitch which offered up appreciable bounce and seam movement, especially with the new ball.
Paceman Yadav aided Morkel in his efforts and he did most of his damage with the new ball as he claimed 3-19 off four overs, while his opening spell produced figures of 3-1-4-3.
Yadav struck with his first ball of the match with a seaming delivery that found the outside edge of Mandeep Singh’s (0) bat with keeper Naman Ojha completing a regulation catch.
The powerfully-built Yadav struck again in his second over when Adam Gilchrist (9) top-edged a short ball and was caught by a tumbling Varun Aaron at mid-on.
Morkel, who was regularly bowling deliveries that were touching the 150km/h mark, was the next man to strike when he had an out-of-sorts Paul Valthaty (2) caught at third man.
Yadav’s superb spell continued when Michael Hussey (3) top-edged an attempted pull shot and was caught at mid-on as Punjab plunged to 20 for four inside six overs.
Siddharth Chitnis and Azhar Mahmood then put on 57 runs for the fifth wicket to add some respectability to the score.
Chitnis coped well with the difficult batting conditions and he played the ball late to such effect that he scored 38 off 32 balls.
But the right-handed Chitnis’s knock was ended when he top-edged a short ball from seamer Andre Russell and was caught at square leg by Irfan Pathan who ran from midwicket before pulling off a one-handed grab.
Mahmood and Gurkeerat Singh (26) then built on the fifth-wicket partnership with a blazing sixth-wicket stand of 45 off four overs with 22 of those runs coming off the 17th over of the innings, bowled by Russell.
But Morkel then took centre stage when he had Mahmood, who scored 36 off 38 balls, caught at point. Morkel struck again two balls later when he yorked Gurkeerat and he bowled Piyush Chawla as he stopped Punjab’s revival in its tracks.
Warner and Unmukt Chand (18) then took the match away from Punjab with an 82-run first wicket stand off nine overs before the right-handed Chand top-edged a delivery from seamer Mahmood and was caught by keeper Gilchrist who took a swirling catch.
Warner, who began his innings by slapping a delivery from swing bowler Praveen Kumar over deep midwicket for six, perished in the 13th over when he cut a delivery from paceman Ryan Harris straight to Mandeep at point.
Warner’s knock was far from chanceless and he was dropped with his score on 46 and 68 but at the height of his onslaught he pounded 23 runs off an over from seamer Parvinder Awana as he reached his half-century off just 25 deliveries as he made light of a pitch which was bowler-friendly.
Warner departed with the score on 109 for two after 13 overs but his assault meant that Delhi were under little pressure and despite the loss of Pathan (5) and Mahela Jayawardene (8) they still sealed a comfortable victory thanks to Venugopal Rao (21 not out).
Harris ended with 2-19 while Mahmood finished with 2-23.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – Adam Gilchrist (capt, wk), Mandeep Singh, Paul Valthaty, David Hussey, Siddharth Chitnis, Azhar Mahmood, Gurkeerat Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ryan Harris, Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana.
DELHI DAREDEVILS – Unmukt Chand, David Warner, Venugopal Rao, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Naman Ojha (wk), Andre Russell, Irfan Pathan, Pawan Negi, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.