The captain of Delhi Daredevils, Virender Sehwag blamed his batsmen after they were beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 1st qualifying match of the IPL 2012.
The first qualifying match of the Indian Premier League was held at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune, on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012. Kolkata Knight Riders smashed 162 runs for the loss of just four wickets at the end of the stipulated 20 overs. They scored 106 runs after losing four wickets at the end of the 16th over when Yusuf Pathan and Laxmi Shukla lifted their innings by demonstrating attacking cricket in the last four overs. The duo shared an unbroken, 56 runs partnership for the fifth wicket in 24 mere balls and took away the game from the rivals.
Yusuf Pathan hammered 40 runs from 21 balls comprising 2 lofty sixes and 3 fours whereas Laxmi Shukla held his end for 24 off 11 balls with the assistance of one six and three fours.
The target looked achievable keeping in view the strong batting line of Delhi Daredevils that placed them on top of the chart as they grasped 22 points from 16 games of the tournament. Their skipper Virender Sehwag blasted 494 runs at an excellent average of 35.28, the best of unbeaten 87 with five fifties and was in great nick.
David Warner appeared in just seven games and thrashed 253 runs at a superb average of 42.16, the best of unbeaten 109 runs with one fifty. Mahela Jayawardene scored 280 runs, averaging 25.45, the best of unbeaten 56 with a couple of fifties. Naman Ojha was another batsman who impressed in the tournament by achieving 248 runs at an average of 24.80, with the best of unbeaten 64.The all rounder Irfan Pathan managed 176, Ross Taylor scored 173 and Venugopal Rao also contributed 122 runs during the IPL 2012.
Delhi Daredevils had a horrible start when their star performing openers David Warner and Virender Sehwag went back to the pavilion for only 24 runs when 2.1 overs were bowled. That put the entire team under pressure as the bowlers of Kolkata Knight Riders captured the game from thereon until they restricted the mighty Delhi Daredevils for 144 for the loss of 8 wickets when the required quota of 20 overs was burnt. Virender Sehwag held his batsmen responsible for the defeat in the important game and said,
“We didn’t bat well. The target of 163 was very much achievable on this wicket. But we collapsed and lost two early wickets and it did not help us. We couldn’t make it in the last few overs. We lost a couple of wickets up front but still we were in the game till the 15th over. Anything could have happened, but we stuck to our strength rather than making too many changes.”
Kolkata Knight Riders went in the match with three specialist spinners, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine and Iqbal Abdulla who grabbed four eminent wickets. Delhi Daredevils opted for just one specialist left arm spinner Pawan Negi who claimed one wicket for 18 runs in four overs. They preferred to go in the match with four seamers, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel and Varun Aaron as they have done wonders for them in the tournament.
Morne Morkel bowled excellently and was the highest wicket taker in the competition so far by clinching 25 at an awesome average of 18.12 runs per wicket with the best of 4-20. Umesh Yadav was another threatening bowler with 18 wickets, averaging 23.66 with the best of 3-19 whereas Irfan Pathan held 8 followed by 6 by Varun Aaron.
Virender Sehwag defended the selection of the four fast bowlers by saying,
“Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav were bowling brilliantly so I could not have dropped them. The bowlers have always performed for us and most of them have won Man-of-the-Match awards, including Pawan Negi and Shahbaz Nadeem,”
Kolkata Knight Riders were the jubilant winners by 18 runs in the end and entered into the final for the first time in the history of Indian Premier League whereas Sehwag was depressed by the performance of his batsmen in the match.