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Dehli, Rajasthan post big wins in IPL
Posted on: 06-05-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

while the Rajasthan Royals stayed in contention with a 78-run win over Kings XI Punjab.

Stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir hit an unbeaten 71 and Tillakaratne Dilshan was 42 not out to give Delhi the win with an over to spare. Delhi reached 157-7 after Kolkata had made 154-3.

Gambhir was dropped twice, first by Brendon McCullum when he was on 21, then in the final over by Moises Henriques when victory was already assured. The 27-year-old Indian opener punished Kolkata, smashing seven boundaries in 57 balls and putting on an unbeaten match-winning stand of 93 for the second wicket with Dilshan (42 not out).

Kolkata batted first after winning the toss and had looked on course to a big total, led by Morne van Wyk who top-scored with 74 runs. Delhi's medium pacer Pradeep Sangwan took 2-29 from his four overs while opening bowler Ashish Nehra varied his pace to end up with an economical 1-23 from four overs.

In the first match at Kingsmead, openers Graeme Smith and Naman Ojha scored half-centuries while pace bowler Amit Singh took an impressive 3-9 to steer Rajasthan to a clinical win over Punjab.

Smith top-scored with 77 runs, hitting 12 boundaries and a six, while Ojha faced 52 balls and truck five boundaries and five sixes for his 68 runs as Rajasthan reached 211-4, scaling the 200-run mark for the first time in the 2009 IPL series.

Punjab managed 133-8 in reply.

Smith and Ojha batted solidly to put on 135 for the first wicket, often coming down the wicket to the Punjab opening bowlers, offspinner Ramesh Powar and pace bowler Irfan Pathan. There was little swing as expected for the first of the Kingsmead double-header, and the seam bowlers in particular fell short on length.

Smith and Ojha capitalised, mainly on the leg side, with Sree Santh and Yusuf Abdulla both costing 44 runs without a wicket.

"For them to play the way they did and set the tone was fantastic," said Rajasthan captain Shane Warne of his openers.

Rajasthan kept up the pressure when it came to bowling, with Singh taking two wickets in the first over, removing Sunny Sohal and Karan Goel. Legendary legspinner Warne chipped in with 2-38 from his three overs.

The win propelled Rajasthan to joint-second with Chennai Super Kings, who have a better run rate. Delhi leads with 10 points, while Kolkata are at the basement with three points.





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