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IPL: Karthik, Jadeja help Gujarat to competitive total

Rajkot, May 3 (IANS) Excellent batting by Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja helped Gujarat Lions recover from a shaky start to post 149/7 against Delhi Daredevils at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.

Karthik and Jadeja have made useful contributions with the bat in the lower middle-order this season and Tuesday’s match was no different.

Karthik displayed superb form during his half-century, posting partnerships of over 50 runs with Suresh Raina and Jadeja along the way.

The 30-year-old right-hander scored 53 runs off 43 balls with five hits to the fence. Jadeja remained unbeaten on 36, smashing four boundaries and a six during his 26-ball stay in the middle.

Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was the most successful among the Delhi bowlers with figures of 2/23 in three overs. Experienced leg-spinner Amit Mishra (1/19), South African all-rounder Chris Morris (1/32), Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan (1/27) and Mohammed Shami (1/31) picked up a wicket each.

Asked to bat by the visitors, Gujarat were off to a poor start, losing their top order within the first four overs.

Gujarat openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith, who have built up an extremely successful combination, did not click for once.

Zaheer set things rolling when he dismissed McCullum after the in-form Kiwi veteran misjudged a delivery that moved in after pitching. Nadeem then claimed two wickets in the next over to hand Delhi the early advantage.

The left-armer sent back Smith with the first ball of the over when the West Indies all-rounder smashed one into the hands of Chris Morris at long-on.

The fit again Aaron Finch lasted all of five balls before a poorly executed shot saw him offer an easy top edge to Rishabh Pant at short fine leg.

With the hosts struggling at 24/3, Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina and Karthik set about bringing the innings back on track with a 51-run partnership.

Raina seemed to be in good touch during his 20-ball 24, even lifting Mohamed Shami over the third man boundary for a six. But he fell when stepped out to attempt another big hit off Mishra, only to miss complete as Quinton de Kock whipped off the bails.

Ravindra Jadeja joined Karthik in the middle and the duo kept up the good work by adding 52 runs between them off 33 deliveries. Shami brought the partnership to an end with a straight delivery when Karthik mistimed his shot as the ball clipped the top of off-stump.

James Faulkner virtually gifted his wicket to Morris with some extremely poor shot selection before Jadeja and Ishan Kishan added 10 runs in the last over to take the total close to the 150-run mark.

Brief scores: Gujarat Lions 149/7 (Dinesh Karthik 53, Ravindra Jadeja 36; Shahbaz Nadeem 2/23) vs Delhi Daredevils.

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