Quinton de Kock eased his way to 46 off 45 balls to help the Delhi Daredevils to an eight-wicket win over the Gujarat Lions in the IPL.
It wasn’t really a contest; not after the table-topping Lions had been held to 149-7. Especially after De Kock and Rishabh Pant put on 61 in the powerplay. Pant took the dominant role, smashing 69 0ff 40 balls (9×4, 2×6).
De Kock set off rapidly, but once the urgency had gone, settled into a rhythm which brought four fours and a six, until he played a tired shot to be caught at deep mid-wicket.
When he went, at 121-2 after 15 overs, it was all but over. It was left to JP Duminy (13 off seven) and Sanju Samson (19) to see the Devils home with 16 balls remaining. They have risen to second on the table. And while the Lions remain top, two points ahead, two losses in a row must be worrying.
The Lions, who were sent in to bat, were on the back foot the moment left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and paceman Zaheer Khan combined to take three wickets for 24 runs before the powerplay was over. The explosive firepower of Dwayne Smith (15), Brendon McCullum (1) and Aaron Finch (4) was neutralised.
The Lions struggled to 74 after 11 overs, when De Kock stumped Suresh Raina, and despite Dinesh Karthik (53) and Ravindra Jadeja (36*) putting on 52 for the fifth wicket, the wickets went down too fast to launch any assault.
Chris Morris got into the act by dismissing the dangerous James Faulkner for just 7. Duminy also added value by conceding just 14 from his two overs.
The Lions ended on 149-7, but the run-rate of 7.45 was never going to trouble the Devils. Once again, Dale Steyn was providing support from the bench. He has played one of the eight matches