Daredevils through to IPL semis

The Delhi Daredevils secured a semifinal place in the Indian Premier League on Sunday with a comfortable 14-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals in Bloemfontein.

The Delhi Daredevils secured a semifinal place in the Indian Premier League on Sunday with a comfortable 14-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals in Bloemfontein.

Kings XI Punjab also stayed in the running for a semifinal spot with a thrilling one-run victory over the Deccan Chargers.

Delhi's win takes them to the top of the IPL standings with 18 points from 12 matches.

Delhi posted 150-3 at OUTsurance Oval in Bloemfontein, led by AB de Villiers who hit an unbeaten 79 and shared a solid 87-run stand for the third wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (33 off 41 balls) having lost openers Gautam Gambhir (8) and Virender Sehwag (2) cheaply.

De Villiers, who smashed eight boundaries and a six in 55 balls, contributed 48 runs from 21 balls in an unbeaten fourth wicket stand with Dinesh Karthik (23 off 11 balls). Pace bowler Munaf Patel suffered in particular, giving up 25 runs in his penultimate over.

In reply, Rajasthan never threatened the Delhi total and were restricted to 136-9 from their 20 overs.

Johan Botha top-scored with 37 and Ravindra Jadeja added 24 to briefly offer Rajasthan some hope, but their dismissals sparked a late collapse with leg-spinner Amit Mishra taking three wickets in one over to return figures of 3-33.

He was supported by seamers Aavishkar Salvi and Farveez Maharoof, who took 2-19 and 2-27.

Defending champions Rajasthan are fifth in the standings on 13 points but still have a chance of making the semifinals.

In the earlier match at Wanderers in Johannesburg, captain Yuvraj Singh bagged his second hat-trick of the series, while Irfan Pathan bowled a brilliant last over to steer Punjab to victory in a thriller.

Singh first removed Herschelle Gibbs on 26 from the last ball of the 12th over before returning in the 14th over to get rid of Andrew Symonds for 25 and Venugopal Rao for a duck with his part-time, left-arm spin.

Then needing 11 runs to win from the final over after Punjab had scored 134-7, Pathan bowled Rohit Sharma for 42.

He then caught Rudra Singh off his own bowling, leaving Deccan needing four runs off the last but Ryan Harris could only manage two.

Punjab now have 14 points, the same as Deccan, but are fourth because Deccan's net run rate is superior. - Sapa-AP

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