Delhi Daredevils began their game against Kolkata Knight Riders with a maiden. Then, they wrapped it up by giving only one run off the 20th over. In between, they conceded 199 and therein lies a significant problem. Glenn Maxwell picked up on it following their 71-run defeat on Monday and called for better execution from the bowlers.
"Our lengths were a little bit mixed today, we weren't really consistent with the ball," he said in a post-match interview. "I think if you really break the game down, they got 200 off 18 overs with the first over a maiden and the last over going for one. We basically cost ourselves a lot of runs through the middle overs."
There are other issues as well. Daredevils have conceded 30 fours and 14 sixes, which have contributed to an economy rate of 10.75 in the first six overs of an IPL game this season. No team has fared so badly, on all of those counts. They began the season watching KL Rahul wallop the fastest fifty in the IPL - off only 14 balls. Then, they leaked 84 runs in 36 balls to Mumbai Indians' Evin Lewis and makeshift opener Suryakumar Yadav. At Eden Gardens, despite keeping Chris Lynn in check, and dismissing pinch-hitter Sunil Narine cheaply, things fell apart yet again.
"That's something we need to address, and address very quickly," assistant coach Sridharan Sriram said. "Against Kings XI, Rahul ran away, playing a blistering innings. Against Rajasthan, we were good. But in the last game we conceded 84 and today they were 19 off four [overs] and finished 50 off six."
Maxwell also rued a dropped catch by Jason Roy when Andre Rusell top-edged his third ball towards deep midwicket and Jason Roy couldn't complete a low, diving catch. The KKR allrounder took full advantage of the reprieve, scoring 41 runs at an astonishing strike-rate of 341.66.
"We probably dropped a tough, crucial chance off Andre Russell, but you've got to take those opportunities whenever you get them. He's a really dangerous player and he made us pay."
All but one of Russell's runs came off the bowler who almost got rid of him, Mohammed Shami. The contest lasted only nine balls but it was a sensational one, beginning with a dropped catch and ending with six monstrous sixes.
"I think he's got to come up with some sort of strategy," Sriram said of Shami. "Started well today; his first couple of overs were very good and again that dropped catch was off him. It would have been a completely different day for him had [it been taken]. But that's what sport is all about and then he got on the wrong side of Russell and I think when that happens, you've got to think very quickly and I think he just lost the plot a bit for six or seven balls and that's enough for you to have a bad game."