Seven matches in the books for the Delhi Daredevils and although they’ve surpassed last year’s win total, it has been a season plagued by inconsistency. After opening the season with two successive losses to Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, they went on to win against Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The past week has seen the continuation of the mix-bag of results; losing on Monday against Kolkata Knight Riders, winning Thursday against the Mumbai Indians and then being demolished by the Royal Challengers Bangalore this morning.
Today’s result was really never in doubt with World Cup winner Mitchell Starc starting the fall of wickets by getting Shreyas Iyer for a duck, leaving the home-side on 2-1. Captain JP Duminy was dismissed after just 13 runs with Delhi sitting at 32-2. Yuvraj was caught after a mere 2 runs while Sri Lankan international Angelo Mathews was dismissed for a duck on the following ball. The Royal Challenges were cruising with Delhi at 67-5 after 12.1 overs. Bangalore’s bowling attack completed dominated and dismantled the home-side which looked less like a team of international cricketers and more like your village cricket team on a Sunday morning after a long Saturday evening. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem fell in short order and RCB capped off an incredible inning when Domnic Joseph was run out by AB de Villiers leaving RCB needing only 96 to win. And how easy that was. Opening batsmen Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli put on a clinical performance going 62* and 35* off 40 and 23 balls respectively. The Windies and Indian international slapped Delhi around their home ground without breaking much of a sweat. It took only 10.3 overs to get to 99 for the Royal Challengers in only the seventh time an IPL match has been won by 10 wickets.
With seven matches remaining, the Daredevils need to find their groove as they sit in 4th place on the log behind Chennai, Rajasthan, and Kolkata. The season has been one defined by inconsistency and disappointment. When the bowling attack is clicking, the bats are silent and vice-versa. Great performances with the ball from the likes of Imran Tahir have been wiped away because of poor performances with the bat, particularly from some of the big names such as JP Duminy and Yuvraj Singh.
The Daredevils get a bit of a break this week with their next game on Friday, May 1st against the Kings XI. After today’s performance they’ll be glad to have some time to regroup for the second half of the season and final push into the playoffs. Even for all their poor performances, this is a team very much capable of getting into the playoffs. How they regroup after today and come out against the Kings should be very telling of how the rest of the season will go for the men from Delhi.