Delhi Daredevils had achieved Semi-final stage

Delhi Daredevils home-bred all-rounder Rajat Bhatia reacted tens of thousands of prayers, taking a critical catch that to off Deccan Chargers slide and claiming four wickets in the span of just nine deliveries to help his team grasp a magical 12-run victory on Wednesday.

From a exhilarating 149 for three, Deccan Chargers collapsed in a heap to 161 all out, losing 7 wickets in just 17 deliveries and making a hash of the chase of 174-run target. And this after Skipper Adam Gilchirst sent the side off to a fiery start with five sixes and five fours in making 64 off 33 balls; and Andrew Symonds followed it up with 41 off 22 balls.

On a day when fans lost count of the catches that went a begging, Bhatia held a good one to end Ravi Teja’s stay in the middle and his 63-run stand with Symonds. He was then entrusted with the task of bowling the 17th over with Deccan Chargers needing 25 runs off three overs. He responded by castling Symonds with a slower one and beating Dwayne Smith’s slog to bowled him with a slow leg-cutter.

Panic set in the Deccan Chargers ranks and the rest of the side fell without even putting up a feeble fight. Expensive in his first three overs, Ashish Nehra trapped Venugopal Rao with a superb short delivery that found the glove on the way to Dinesh Karthik. He then ran out RP Singh who tried to steal a single so that Chaminda Vaas could be on strike.

And in the next over, Bhatia was back to dismiss Pragyan Ojha and Shoaib Ahmed to wrap up a fantastic win for Delhi Daredevils and consolidate their position at the top of the table with 16 points from eight wins in 10 matches. Deccan Chargers have time till Saturday to recover from the shock of having gifted the match to Delhi Daredevils.

Then again, to call the victory a gift from Deccan Chargers would be quite unfair to Delhi Daredevils, especially a number of men like Tillekeratne Dilshan (37 off 18 balls, 7 fours and 1 six), AB de Villiers (44 off 36 balls) and the fantastic Karthik (44, 23 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes) as well as Pradeep Sangwan who bowled a wonderful spell to finish with figures of 4-1-18-3.

Each of those men played a superb role in the victory. Dilshan, batting 1st down, hurried the scoring at the start, taking 24 runs off Shoaib Ahmed’s over; AB held the side together while Karthik provided the stunning flourish at the finish of the innings that saw the side raise 70 runs in the last six overs. Sangwan’s accuracy was so bewildering that Deccan Chargers let him bowl as many as 18 dot balls.

And yet, in the end, it was Bhatia who walked away with the man of the match award for his hand in Delhi Daredevils’ revival. Adam Gilchrist, of course, said there was no magic in what Delhi Daredevils had achieved and admitted that his side had lost the plot in the final stages of a match that they appeared to have well in control.

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