JP Duminy’s debut as Delhi Daredevils captain ended in disappointment with a seven-wicket loss to the Pune Supergiants.
Duminy was handed the captaincy for the first time this season in the injury-enforced absence of Zaheer Khan.
For a while, it looked as if he might pull off a remarkable win, even after posting just 162-7. Imran Tahir helped by conceding just 12 runs from his first three overs, but then he suffered as the Supergiants opened up in the closing overs to record their third win of the series. The Daredevils blew the chance to go top of the log, and they now have five wins from eight, remaining in third place.
The Daredevils also decided to start with four spinners, dropping their multi-million investment Chris Morris, as well as Quinton de Kock, whose form has dipped slightly in he past couple of matches. Duminy, though, mentioned there were a few ‘niggles’.
They were sent in to bat, and they stuttered to a less-than convincing total. Wickets fell just as partnerships were developing; the best being 45 between Sam Billings (24 off 15) and Duminy, who scratched his way to 34 off 32 with just one four. His was best described as ‘an anchoring role’, holding out until the 18th over, when he was run out with the score on 138.
It was left to World Cup hero Carlos Brathwaite to put some muscle on the bones with 20 off eight balls, with three sixes, bringing back memories of his four sixes which crushed Ben Stokes and England. He was given some support from Pawan Negi, who ended unbeaten on 19 off 12. At 8.1 an over, the Supergiants did not really have to put themselves at risk.
Ajinkya Rahane provided a solid 63 off 48, but it needed some big blows from MS Dhoni (27 off 20) and Thisara Perera (14 off 5) to see the Supergiants home