Tillakaratne Dilshan crafted a superb knock of 67* to lead the Delhi Daredevils to a six wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Sri Lankan played a supporting role to AB de Villiers against Chennai on Thursday, but he takes all the plaudits in Port Elizabeth for a brilliant innings that sees his side go joint top of the log.
Bangalore are now left with the prospect of having to win the majority of their remaining matches if they hope to be involved in the play-offs.
Bangalore won the toss and their middle order all made contributions after openers Robin Uthappa and Jacques Kallis flew early. Kallis has performed dismally with the bat and ball thus far and one wonders when he’ll feel the cold sting of the axe.
Captain Kevin Pietersen, another struggling for form, made a subdued 37 from 25 balls. He shared a 62-run third wicket partnership with Ross Taylor to stabilise the innings, while Indian youngster Virat Kohli and Mark Boucher kept the momentum going.
However, the fact that none of those batsman kicked on after getting starts resulted in them posting a below par 149.
Delhi’s opening pair of Gautum Gambhir and Virender Sehwag fell cheaply, placing pressure on their middle order. Dilshan set about the task of rebuilding their innings and was supported by AB de Villiers until the South African was bowled by and outstanding KP Appanna delivery.
Dilshan refused to panic and played with a freedom that suggested his side were cruising to victory, when the reality was that at that stage Bangalore were favourites. His placement and running between the wickets was superb, while he proved to have an extra gear when he needed to shift into overdrive.
At one stage the run rate crept up to 11, but Bangalore let themselves down with some diabolical fielding and wayward bowling – Kallis being the worst of the bunch, going for 37 in three overs.
This, combined with Dilshan’s brilliance paved the way for Delhi’s third win on the bounce.
Bangalore 140/7 - Kevin Pietersen 37, Mark Boucher 36
Delhi 150/4 - Tillakaratne Dilshan 67*
Dehli won by six wickets
Click here for full scorecard.