|Scorecard:||Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals|
|Player:||G Gambhir, SR Watson, SA Asnodkar, YK Pathan, TM Dilshan, MF Maharoof, A Mishra, Sohail Tanvir, MM Patel|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2007/08|
DateLine: 31st May 2008
It was a day that most cricket aficionados would have preferred not to have been through. It was the first semi-final of the DLF IPL between the Delhi DareDevils and the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, and it turned out to be one of the most anti-climatic ones. In fact, it could very easily be compared with the Australia-South Africa semi-finals of the 2007 World Cup. The winners in this case were the Royals, by a comfortable margin of 105 runs.
Winning the toss, Virender Sehwag inserted the opponents in on the Wankhede track which was purported to take turn later. Graeme Smith had not seemed to have recovered from his hamstring injury and after the initial nervous prods, went after both Glen McGrath and Mohammad Asif. Asnodkar followed suit, but both the openers left in the same over off the bowling Farveez Maharoof. Surprisingly, Sohail Tanvir was promoted to the top, but the experiment did not last long. However, it was then, that Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan got together and stitched together a very aggressive partnership, Watson reaching his fifty, and Pathan celebrating his selection into the Indian ODI squad with a 21-ball 45. The Royals had ended with 192/9 in the twenty, a daunting task by any stretch of the imagination.
The DareDevils got off to a worst possible start, when Sehwag left early, caught off the bowling of Watson. But if this was not enough, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan and Manoj Tiwari all departed early with the score at only 28! Any recovery from here would have been marginal, but Munaf Patel and Warne put paid to any hope the team had by scuttling them out for a meager 87. Tillakaratne Dilshan did score a 33, by hitting out some lusty blows, but the DareDevils were never in hunt. Shane Watson scalped three, and do did Patel, while Warne ended with two wickets.
Watson was expectedly named the MoM for his all-round performance incidentally making him the first player to take three wickets and score a fifty in the same match at IPL. Royals now face the winner of the Kings XI Punjab-Chennai Super Kings match, in the final
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