Delhi collapse under Yuvraj onslaught

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The Delhi Daredevils got their IPL campaign off to a dire start as they felt the absence of skipper Kevin Pietersen, losing by eight wickets to the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday in Sharjah.

The Delhi Daredevils got their IPL campaign off to a dire start as they felt the absence of skipper Kevin Pietersen, losing by eight wickets to the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday in Sharjah.

The Daredevils, heavily fancied ahead if the game due to the absence of Chris Gayle for RCB, essentially lost the match in the first six overs as they were four down for 35. Big knocks from JP Duminy and Ross Taylor took them to 145 for four.

But the Challengers made light work of the chase thanks to India veteran Yuvraj Singh, so lambasted after his World T20 final woes, and Virat Kohli, who was dropped twice on his way to victory, with more than three overs to spare.

RCB won the toss and chose to field, opting to know the score given the absence of Gayle to injury. But with one of the strongest batting line-ups in the tournament, Delhi needed to get a big total, and it all went wrong from the outset.

The first three wickets fell within two runs of each other, as Mayank Agarwal (6), Dinesh Kartik (0) and Manoj Tiwary (1) all departed before the score had reached 20. Those wickets were shared between three bowlers, namely Mitch Starc, Albie Morkel and Varun Aaron.

A fourth wicket fell with the score on 35 as Yuzvendra Chahal also got a wicket next to his name, removing Murali Vijay, who had stuck around to score 18. So within seven overs, Delhi were all but out of it.

Still, a century stand between Duminy and Taylor set what could have been a defendable score, had RCB not had the most in-form T20 batsman in Kohli in their ranks. Taylor made 43 off 39 balls, while Duminy hit three sixes on his way to 67 not out.

The chase saw replacement opener Nic Maddinson fall early for just four, but from there on in it was plain sailing. Parthiv Patel added 37 alongside Kohli, who was dropped twice in one Wayne Parnell over.

Once Patel was out to Rahul Sharma with the score on 62, it left the rest of the chase to Kohli and Yuvraj, the most expensive player in the tournament. The veteran put the WT20 final to the back of his mind, and smashed his way to 52 off 29 balls, including five sixes.

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