Dirk Nannes fired with the ball while Virender Sehwag and Dinesh Karthik scored quickfire half-centuries as Delhi Daredevils beat Wayamaba Elevens by 50 runs to storm into Super Eight stage of the Champions League on Sunday.
With this win, the Daredevils have finished their group proceedings with a net run rate of +0.700 and winner of the Tuesday match between Victoria Bushrangers and Wayamba would now join Delhi in the next stage from Group D.
After Sehwag (66) and Karthik (61) helped Delhi score a competitive 170/5 in stipulated 20 overs, Nannes (4/24) and veteran Glenn McGrath (2/20) demolished Wayamba batting line-up to restrict them to 120/7.
Mahela Jayawardene was the lone bright spot in Wayamba batting chart, scoring 53 off 40 balls, while Sameera de Zoysa (21 n.o.) was the other notable run-getter for them.
After Delhi elected to bat, Sehwag returned to form in style with a quickfire 66 off 42 deliveries, while Karthik blossomed in the right-hander’s company to score a breezy 41-ball 61 to take Daredevils to a competitive total in the low and slow Ferozeshah Kotla wicket.
For Wayamba, left-arm pacer Chanaka Welegedara and mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis picked up two wickets apiece, giving away 24 and 35 runs respectively.
Inspired by the Daredevils batsmen, 33-year-old Nannes generated tremendous pace from the dull wicket to give the Delhi side an upper edge in the contest. By sheer virtue of his pace, Nannes cleaned up both Mahela Udawatte and Michael Vandort to see Wayamba totter at 19/2 after four overs.
Then came McGrath, who lacked in pace but showed there was no rust in skills even though he is playing competitive cricket after a hiatus of 18 months.
The 39-year-old legendary Australian, who warmed the bench in the entire Indian Premier League in South Africa, maintained his trademark nagging line and length and it bore fruit as he went through the defence of Wayamba skipper Jehan Mubarak (0) and Kaushal Lokuarachchi (4) in his second over.
As if it was not enough, Tillakaratne Dilshan pulled off a superb running catch off Farveez Maharoof at mid-off to hand Nannes his third wicket of the day.
In search of quick runs, Jayawardene perished at long-off by Dilshan off Nannes’ final over.
Opting to bat, Delhi batsmen took a cue from New South Wales match and played cautiously without going for big shots in the beginning.
But Sehwag, who showed signs of returning to form in their last outing, opened up and dispatched Ishuru Udana for two back-to-back fours and piled up 15 runs of fourth over.
Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan, who opened with Sehwag in place of skipper Gautam Gambhir, then struck Chanaka Welegedara through covers before perishing in the very next delivery, courtesy a sharp catch by captain Jehan Mubarak.
It could have been a double disaster for Daredevils had Mubarak managed to hold to Sehwag in the last ball of the fourth over. A flying Wayamba captain got his fingertips to Sehwag’s forceful drive through covers, only to see the ball race away to boundary.
Gambhir’s ploy of dropping him down the order did not work as Mendis caught him plumb in front of the wicket in his first over.
But Sehwag rode on his luck and after the early burst, placed his innings to perfection. Gambhir’s dismissal had no effect on the right-hander’s approach as he exploded, hitting Wayamba bowlers to all parts of the ground to notch up his fifty in just 32 balls.
Karthik and Sehwag showed that there was no demon in the pitch as the duo shared 67 runs for the third wicket in just 8.3 overs.
Sehwag’s innings finally came to a sad end as he was caught short of the wicket, obliging to Karthik’s call for a non-existent single. The Delhi dasher cracked 10 fours and a six during his stay at the crease.
Kathik took up from where Sehwag left as he clobbered Mendis for three consecutive sixes in the 19th over before the mystery spinner took his revenge as he was stumped by Sameera de Zoysa.
Owais Shah (18 off 10) also played a cameo to help Delhi manage a good total.