Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2011, Dharamsala May 15, 2011

Average Delhi keep Punjab's campaign alive

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Kings XI Punjab 170 for 6 (Valthaty 62, Marsh 46, Irfan 3-28) beat Delhi Daredevils 141 for 8 (Chawla 3-16) by 29 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The scorecard will say Paul Valthaty hammered 62 to power Punjab to an eventually match-winning 170, but that's not even half the story. Through 50 balls of clueless flailing, Valthaty put on a display completely out of place in the beautiful setting that is Dharamsala. Delhi Daredevils matched his ordinariness with a shoddy show on the field, followed by the sort of batting display that can be expected from a one-man team, when that one man is missing. Punjab's bowlers, led by a resurgent Piyush Chawla, capitalised on Delhi's woes to run to their third win on the trot, keeping their late-blooming campaign alive.

By all counts it was an average game of cricket, and the tone for the ordinariness was set right at the start. There was swing for Irfan Pathan, but not enough pace. There were swings of Adam Gilchrist's bat, but not too many connections. At the other end, Morne Morkel's other-worldly bounce systematically exposed Valthaty's limitations. The pressure was on Punjab and the chances promptly followed, but Delhi graciously fluffed them. Yogesh Nagar and Irfan combined to mess up a straightforward run-out opportunity, before Venugopal Rao dropped a chance at slip. Delhi's generosity was duly reciprocated by Punjab, as Gilchrist gifted his wicket soon after the botched run-out. It was like watching two football sides trying to outdo each other in an own-goal contest.

Shaun Marsh's advent sought to bring sanity to the proceedings - he began by charming Aavishkar Salvi over mid-on, before shredding him through point - but Valthaty's methods continued to spoil the scenery. Initially he attempted on-the-up thumps, regardless of length, and often missed by ridiculously large margins. He later tried to counter the bounce with cuts, but rarely made contact. He then resorted to the pull, and it was soon evident why he doesn't play that shot too often. On the one occasion when he managed to middle the ball, Varun Aaron at fine-leg ran in too far, and the ball sailed over the boundary.

Valthaty eventually found his match against James Hopes' trundle and ignited the innings with two violent sixes over the leg-side and an edged four through third man. Bowling listless lengths to Valthaty wasn't Hopes' biggest mistake of the innings though. He brought on S Sriram's nondescript left-arm spin in the 13th over and Marsh indulged himself to some slog-sweeping violence. The over bled 25, including three big sixes over the leg side, as Punjab galloped from 70 for 1 in ten overs to 115 for 1 in 13.

Delhi managed to contain the damage in the remaining overs, through Aaron's pace, and Irfan's surprising rediscovery of old-ball swing. Marsh and Valthaty perished to Irfan's stock indippers off successive balls in the 15th over. Delhi could have taken control in the next over, but Naman Ojha grassed a chance to let off Dinesh Karthik, allowing Punjab to motor along to 170.

Delhi's chase followed a now-familiar template: David Warner's shocking loss of form - he had cobbled up 47 runs in his last six innings before the game - and Virender Sehwag's absence meant the innings lost steam quickly. Along with Naman Ojha, Warner played out ten successive dot balls early on, in the process giving Praveen Kumar his fourth maiden of the season. Ojha eventually found release by clouting Shalabh Srivastava for two sixes and a four in the sixth over, but it proved to be a false dawn. Ojha guided Srivastava behind in the eighth over for a run-a-ball 28, before Warner miscued the same bowler for a run-a-ball 29. Run-a-balls were, however, not going to be enough.

Chawla has endured a rough time recently: he struggled for impact in the World Cup and his place in the team became a national debate; his struggles continued in the IPL, and he's been left out for the West Indies ODIs. On Sunday, he finally came into his own with a sprightly spell, in which he refrained from his old failing of over-doing the googly. He accounted for Sriram, Rao and Hopes in successive overs, as Delhi went down with the setting sun in Dharamsala.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MasterClass on May 16, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    The innings that Valthaty played did not merit the slanderous disdain of the author, Mr. Sundar. In fact why Mr. Sundar is allowed to write articles for Cricinfo on the IPL when he clearly exhibits an open hostility, disdain and contempt for the IPL is unbelievable. Valthaty was simply the easiest target for the author to spew his venom on, seeing that Mr. Sundar would attribute Valthaty's recent fame to the IPL. In fact Mr. Sundar was told to tone-down his whining anti-IPL attitude by his editor after his first IPL Chatter audio blog. Please listen to episode 2 and you will hear what I'm saying. Anyway, getting back to Valthaty, his 100 was hailed by many including Mr. Gavaskar for its use of proper cricketing shots, rather than slogs. So how all of a sudden Valthaty went from a player who scores blistering centuries with proper cricketing shots, to a clueless, flaying, blemish on the scenery only Mr. Sundar can explain.

  • anver777 on May 16, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    No Fire Power ("AAG") left in for poor Dare Devils after missing Sehw"AG".........

  • Salim_123 on May 16, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I agree with Jhonny Jones. Gilly should call it a day and may join as a consultant or coac. Warnie saw the writing on the wall. Aga has caught up with Gilly and though he may be a good captain but he looks odd the way he gets out. We want to remember the Gilly who was a bowler's nightmare. Please Gilly leave us your good memories.

  • dummy4fb on May 16, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Valthaty maybe overrated,but he is doing well in IPL,and that is what matters.Who gives a damn in any case to First class cricket...? Tendi,Dravid & Laxman r legends and hence popular.But if any new batsmen thinks he can get popular by only playing TEST matches,hes living in a dream.Will a Cheteshwar Pujara get even close to where Yusuf Patan stands(in terms of popularity)...? Even Laxman & Kumble spent a decade in oblivion because they did not play enough ODIs.Ranji Trophy may test ur true abilities,but IPL makes u a true star...If given an option, 9 out of ten would run for the latter...

  • dummy4fb on May 16, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Which team in IPL4 has the best & the most successful batsmen...?

    Kochi,because they all have the '''ORANGE CUP'''..!!! He he he...

  • Baundele on May 16, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    To Valthaty's credit, he continued his innings even though he had a tough time at the start. He is no Tendulkar in technique; but he is no Sunny Sohal either. He is a good front foot player. In the field he was hard done 3 or 4 times either by wrong field placements or by bad fielding. Otherwise, he could have 3 more wickets. Chawla was good; but those wickets did not win the match, the partnership between Valthaty and Marsh did it.

  • dummy4fb on May 16, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Battiing as a opener is not an easy task, especially for wicket keepers.

    look at this stats http://stats.espncricinfo.com/indian-premier-league-2011/engine/records/keeping/most_dismissals_career.html?id=117;type=trophy

    Gilly is in first place with 47 dismissals including 15 stumps(highest for any wicket keeper). Where dhoni is at 4th, with 29 dismissals.

    Gilly is just having a tough time in battting. i'm sure that he will strike again.

  • dummy4fb on May 16, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Looks good when Pathan swings the ball

  • dummy4fb on May 16, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    Too wishful to contemplate Punjab could pull off both their remaining games, especially against RCB. Win at least one and get KO with a flourish to then consider who for Gilly.

    Marsh alone has been their constant star; well done. One wishes Preity had some cricketing acumen to go with her good looks and cheering zing!

  • Praxis on May 16, 2011, 0:30 GMT

    Morne was bowling really well, shame he didn't get more wickets.

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