Daredevils v Lions, 1st semi-final, CLT20, Durban October 24, 2012

Who will overcome big-stage fright?


Match facts

October 25, 2012
Start time 1730 local (1530 GMT)

Big Picture

After South Africa lost from a winning position against Pakistan in the recent World Twenty20, the choking question inevitably came up during AB de Villiers' press conference. De Villiers put on a brave smile and said if South Africa made the semi-finals of the tournament there would be no choking then. South Africa didn't, and de Villiers' assertion wasn't tested. A team from South Africa, Lions, has made the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20, and tomorrow won't be a bad time to see whether de Villiers' confidence is backed up by Alviro Petersen and his men. They have already suffered a mini-choke, against Yorkshire, on their way to the knockouts, where they will be facing a side who have a habit of dominating the league stage and messing up in semi-finals.

Delhi Daredevils have made the IPL knockouts three times in five seasons; they are yet to play in an IPL final, leave alone winning the title. On two of those three occasions, they have topped the table after a long and gruelling league stage only to come up short on the big night. It won't be only the South Africans playing under the shadow of the 'c' word in Durban.

It is interesting to note that the Indian franchise has relied purely on the quicks to make it this far while a left-arm spinner, Aaron Phangiso, has been the key element around which the South African franchise's attack has revolved. Daredevils' attack is lopsided for Indian conditions, but here in South Africa, it has worked superbly.

Watch out for…

Aaron Phangiso has gone for just 4.43 runs an over so far in the tournament. Daredevils, with a captain who is inventive against spin and a former captain who goes hyper-aggressive against it, could target him. He has the variations to cope with attacking batsmen.

Morne Morkel, once again, has led Daredevils' attack admirably. He's been quick, difficult to score off and nasty with the bounce he gets. Most of the Lions batsmen would have played him a lot. How will they tackle him?

Weather and conditions

The tournament has seen four washouts so far. Even as the final league game between Titans and Daredevils was falling prey to rain in Centurion on Tuesday, it was pouring down in Durban, the venue for tomorrow's semi-final. The weather held up today, but the bowlers' run-ups were still wet, and Lions had to practise indoors. The organisers are considering a reserve day for the knockouts, but a final decision is yet to be made. In case of a no-result, the team with the most wins in the group stage will make the final, so Daredevils will be praying the rain stops following them.


"We always thought we can make it to the semis and even the final. The guys have been working hard since April, when we lost the final of the MiWay T20 Cup to the Titans. So, it's not a surprise that we're in the semi-finals; we were expected to do well."
Aaron Phangiso

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    MunafAhmed811,Mr.Ram,ThumpingWin,Bruisers >>did you guys saw what is a bad selection is? Waner should have been included for Ross Taylor !!! DD would have gone to the final at least if the management have made the correct selection,,,,,

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    How can you leave out Mahela in such an important match... Thank God Sehwag is the DD captain and not India captain...

  • Munaf on October 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @Sajil Alakkalakath : your comment that Indian players dont play for win and only for records is not true and not to fact. In fact India has won T20 Wc2007 and ODI World cup 2011 where no Indian scored century but Gambhir and Dhoni scored 90 each ot take India to victory. On contrary Mahela played slow and notched up 2 centuries slowly to make SL loose both finals and 2 more later on a total of 4 finals choked. This clearly shows who plays for records.

  • Munaf on October 25, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    Excellent move to keep out Jayawardene out of playing 11 in SF. His history with SL team shows he chokes and makes his team choke . SL and Jayawardene has choked 4 finals. Delhi now have chance to win this at least.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Yup, it's chokers vs chokers in the semi-final. All the non-chokers don't get this far.

  • Rajesh on October 25, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Dare Devils should rename their franchise name to "ScareD evils"... they are scared of knock outs

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Where are my comments. I never seen my comments posted in This page.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Since 2007, Sri Lankan captains are in the ceremony of finals. If I am not wrong more than 5 times they had. The thing is they can reach till the finals, But cannot make the finals in their pocket. But this time Mahela and team even cannot reach to final. cause Lions are pretty much familiar with the pitch as well they have Quality bowlers and batsmen. DD of course have some BIG Numbers, but won't able. Best of Luck for Both Teams.

  • Wicky on October 25, 2012, 12:36 GMT


  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    i dont believe this Mr thumpingwin..go get your facts straight about ahel...you say he chokes under pressure...what pressure can be bigger than a worldcup Finals...2007 and 2011 both he got centuries,,,at least research before you exaggerate something

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