Gilchrist fails to show up ... again
After losing two early wickets, Delhi Daredevils needed to push on and build a partnership. Virender Sehwag was just starting to open up, but Harmeet Singh's slower deliveries were starting to annoy him. Off the last ball of Harmeet's second over, he made room and tried to improvise, looking to slap it over the off side. He ended up scooping it towards extra cover and the ball began to dip towards Mandeep Singh, who timed his dive well and hung on. Mandeep, though, didn't claim the catch immediately, indicating to the umpires that he wasn't sure. Sehwag too stopped in his tracks. Replays showed that he plucked it clean, leaving little room for doubt and Sehwag was on his way. Kings XI would have scored on the Fair Play points too, if they care about it, thanks to Mandeep's honesty.
With a top score of 26 in six games (including four single-digit scores), patience was running out for the ageing Adam Gilchrist to finally score big. Being a non-performing overseas captain only increased the pressure on him to perform. With a modest 121 to chase, Gilchrist came out with the intention of hitting his way into form. His first ball was an outside edge off Irfan Pathan that raced to third man for four, while the second was a mistimed loft that cleared cover. Gilchrist didn't hold back the following ball despite his unconvincing start. Irfan angled it in, Gilchrist tried to clear the infield again but got a tame top edge that swirled to extra cover. Will Kings XI take a tough call on his place next match?
The near miss
When Kings XI lost their fourth wicket at 70, Daredevils would have sensed they were at least another quick wicket away from a sniff. Four balls after dismissing Manan Vohra, Johan Botha nearly had another wicket for the over when he got one to straighten to the left-handed David Miller. The ball squeezed through the gap between pad and bat and for a split second it appeared as if the ball clipped the bails. It only just sailed over the stumps and sailed past the wicketkeeper Kedar Jadhav, who barely moved. To make matters worse for Daredevils, they conceded four byes.
Kings XI set a fine example in the field, keeping the target to a modest 121, but Daredevils had to be twice as good in order to be able to defend that. Mandeep Singh stepped on the gas with a breezy 24, but a promising knock was caught short thanks to a brilliant effort by David Warner. Mandeep rushed out of his crease for a risky single and was sent back by David Miller as Warner attacked the ball from square leg. Mandeep dived and there was a direct hit at the bowler's end. Replays showed that Mandeep had only just raised his bat when the bails came off the groove. It was a tight call for the third umpire. The fielding effort perked up Daredevils, but only temporarily.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo