Dharamsala: In conditions that suited them quite nicely, the Delhi Daredevils came hard at a determined Kings XI Punjab at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
After choosing to bowl, Delhi, who were without Virender Sehwag and Ross Taylor, set the tone early, Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel reducing Kings XI to 20 for four. (Also see: Match in pics and Stats from the match)
Even a valiant fightback only allowed Adam Gilchrist's team to put 141 on the board. While this gave the Kings XI bowlers something to work with, it was far from safe as David Warner led a Delhi assault that resulted in a comfortable six-wicket win with 10 balls to spare.
In perhaps the first occasion of a team using fast bowlers exclusively to complete their 20 overs, the Daredevils showed just how difficult it is for batsmen to go hammer and tongs when the ball gets to them consistently at 140-plus kmh.
Yadav, in good rhythm from the time he got the white ball in hand, hurried Mandeep Singh, and the thick edge was comfortably accepted behind the stumps.
Gilchrist looked to take the attack to the bowlers but paid the price for underestimating Yadav's bounce. When Paul Valthaty and David Hussey fell soon after, the decision to leave out Shaun Marsh looked less and less sensible.
If the Delhi team thought the job was done with blasting out the top order, they had another thing coming as Azhar Mahmood stitched together stands of 57 and 55 with Siddharth Chitnis and Gurkeerat Singh for the fifth and sixth wickets respectively. Mahmood brought his considerable experience into play, attacking only when the ball posed no danger to his wicket.
If Mahmood and Chitnis consolidated, it was left to Gurkeerat to step on the gas towards the end of the innings. Clearing the ropes with breezy ease, Gurkeerat raced to 26 off 11 balls before Morkel returned to the attack to snuff out the fightback.
Morkel, who ended with four for 20, and Yadav, who returned three for 19, together ensured that Andre Russell's four overs for 51 runs did not prove too costly.
When Delhi began their chase it was clear that Unmukt Chand and David Warner had no fears about what the pitch might do.
Attacking mercilessly, the two batsmen took on anything that approached being short, and even when Warner was hit on the helmet by a Ryan Harris lifter there was no let up.
Parvinder Awana, who has shown tremendous heart all season, suffered the most, with Warner even hooking one so powerfully that it landed outside the stadium. By the time Kings XI broke through, the Daredevils already had 82 on the board, and the base was set for a comfortable victory.
Even when Warner fell on 79 (44b, 10x4, 4x6), Kings XI could do little but delay the inevitable and their IPL 2012 campaign came to an end on a losing note.