New Delhi: South African all-rounder Chris Morris starred with both ball and bat, but couldn't inpsire Delhi Daredevils to an improbable win as Gujarat Lions survived to win by one run in a nail-biting last ball thriller at Feroz Shah Kotla ground on Wednesday.
Morris first bowled brilliantly to take two wickets and then played an emphatic innings as a batsman, scoring at an amazing strike rate of over 250. His brilliant unbeaten 82 off just 32 balls included eight sixes and four boundaries.
Interestingly, Morris' score was the highest by a No. 6 batsman in IPL history.
But all that was for nought as the Lions managed to restrict Delhi to 171/5 from their 20 overs.
A dejected Delhi Daredevils' Chris Morris walks back to the pavillion after losing the match during the 2016 Indian Premier League match against Gujarat Lions at The Feroz Shaht Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
Needing 14 runs required from the last 6 balls, Morris started well with a boundary, but Dwayne Bravo still had the last laugh as he didn't let Morris score boundary off the last ball to ensure that the Lions emerged winners on the night.
Coming out to bat at a difficult time when the Daredevils were tottering at 57 for four in 10.4 overs while chasing a challenging 173, Morris played a sensational knock and struck sixes at will to notch up his fifty in just 17 balls, the fastest half century of the season.
Morris (82 not out off 32 balls) shared 87 runs for the fifth wicket with country-mate JP Duminy (48 off 43 balls) to take Daredevils on the brink of a win before experienced Praveen Kumar and Dwayne Bravo produced brilliant final two overs to restrict Daredevils to 171 for five.
With Daredevils needing 18 runs off the last two overs, Praveen gave away four runs in the penultimate over before Bravo held on to his nerves with a fine final over to seal the win for Gujarat Lions and propel the debutants to the top of the standings with 10 points from six games.
McCullum (60 off 36 balls) and Smith (53 off 30) gave Gujarat a blazing start as the dup put on 112 runs off just 64 balls for the opening stand after being invited to bat.
The way McCullum and Smith were going at one stage Gujarat were well and truly on course to post a 200-plus total but Delhi bowlers, especially Imran Tahir (3/24) and Chris Morris (2/35) bowled brilliantly in the middle overs to keep the total under their arms length.
In the final 10 overs, Lions lost 6 wickets for 62 runs after having scored 110 in the first 10 overs.
It was Smith who got Gujarat off to a rollicking start, hitting Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan for four boundaries including three streaky shots to pick up 18 runs off the opening over.
After Smith, it was McCullum's turn to take Zaheer to task as the Kiwi struck the left-arm pacer for two lusty sixes in his next over.
But McCullum was little lucky with the first six as Sanju Samson put down a regulation catch at deep cover.
Gujarat Lions openers continued their carnage as Smith whipped Nadeem over midwicket in the next over to bring up the team's 50 in just 23 balls.
Zaheer was forced to ring in the first change in the fifth over after conceding 32 runs in his first two overs. But the man who replaced him, Morris was also at the receiving end of the Gujarat openers onslaught as he leaked 12 runs in his opening over, which includes a six and a four from McCullum's bat.
The duo was in a marauding mood as they did not spare a single Daredevils bowler. The home team's best bowler, leg-spinner Amit Mishra too came under their wrath as he leaked 19 runs off his first two overs.
McCullum showed why he is still the most dangerous batsman in limited overs cricket event though he has quit international cricket. He played shots to all parts of the ground to bring up his half-century off just 27 balls with the help of five boundaries and three sixes.
At the halfway stage, Gujarat Lions raced to 110 for no loss.
Smith, on the other hand, got to his fifty in 26 balls but soon after reaching the feat he was out leg before to Tahir. He struck five fours and three huge sixes.
But then came the turnaround when Morris picked up two more quick wickets in the next over that of dangerman McCullum and Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina to pull things back for Daredevils.
While McCullum was bowled with a well disguised loopy slow fulltoss, three balls later Raina was caught by Karun Nair trying to fend a short balls into his rib cage.
Gujarat Lions batsmen then committed hara-kiri as they lost three more quick wickets -- Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan (2) and Dinesh Karthik (19) ¿ to spell their doom.
Towards the end James Faulkner (22 off 13) played a cameo to help Gujarat's cause.
Gujarat Lions: 172 for 6 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 60, Dwayne Smith 53; Imran Tahir 3/24, Chris Morris 2/35).
Delhi Daredevils: 171 for 5 in 20 overs (Chris Morris 82 not out, JP Duminy 48; Dhawal Kulkarni 3/19).
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