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Delhi Daredevils rode on an all-round effort to thrash Rising Pune Supergiant by 97 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday. While Kerala youngster Sanju Samson's maiden T20 hundred set things on fire in the first innings as Delhi posted a mammoth 204/5, captain Zaheer Khan led from the front with three wickets to bundle the hosts out for a paltry 108 in 16.1 overs. Zaheer (3/20) was complimented well by leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who returned with figures of 3/11 and Australian pacer Pat Cummins (2/24) as Pune succumbed to their second defeat in their three matches so far. Chasing a mammoth 205, Pune's innings derailed in the third over when opener and stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane (10) fell to Zaheer.
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Zaheer again struck in his very next over with the wicket of Mayank Agarwal, whose poor run with the bat continued. The Karnataka right-hander failed to read a slower one from the veteran left-armer and was beautifully latched on by Chris Morris at mid-off. Thereafter, it seemed like the Pune batsmen were in a hurry to get back to the dug out as debutant Rahul Tripathi (10), Faf du Plessis (8) and IPL-2017's million dollar boy Ben Stokes (2) fell in no time. Tripathi started well by hitting two fours before getting a top edge off Morris' short delivery only to be smartly caught by Shahbaz Nadeem at short fine leg. Playing his first match of the season, South African du Plessis clearly looked out of touch when his attempt to scoop one from left-arm spinner Nadeem, ended up in a faint edge to be beautifully caught by stumper Rishabh Pant.
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Coming back for his second spell, Cummins then dealt a fiery blow to the hosts with the key wicket of Stokes. Stokes wasn't looking too comfortable against the pace of Cummins, and he was undone in his attempt to pull one bowled at 148 kph only resulted in a bottom edge to Pant. Pune's weakness with the bat in the absence of regular skipper Steve Smith was clearly out when the hosts lost half the side by the eighth over with just 55 runs on the board. Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11) and veteran all-rounder Rajat Bhatia (16) also failed to make any vital contributions. Dhoni, who slammed Nadeem for a six in the previous over, lasted only 14 deliveries before Mishra saw the Ranchi stumper's back. Mishra then dented Pune's hopes with the wicket of Bhatia in his very next over after the Delhi all-rounder faced 17 balls.
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Pacer Deepak Chahar (14) raised Pune's hopes for a short while when he clobbered Cummins for two consecutive sixes before Zaheer got him caught behind on the first ball of his third over. Mishra struck once again in his third over to get rid of Australian leggie Adam Zampa (5) as Pune were reduced to 107/9 before Cummins finished off things with the wicket of Ashoke Dinda (7) without any fuss. Earlier, the 22-year-old Samson took the Pune bowlers to the cleaners from the word go, before converting his first T20 half century to a match-winning hundred.
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Samson, who got to his century with a straight six off Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa, clobbered five sixes and eight fours in his 63-ball 103. South African all-rounder Chris Morris then added the late order fireworks in the final two overs, with a 9-ball unbeaten 38, that included three sixes and four boundaries, to raise Delhi's 200. Put in to bat, Delhi were once again off to a poor start losing opener Aditya Tare for nought but Sam Billings (24) andSamson resurrected the innings with a 69-run second wicket stand. Samson raised another half century stand, this time with Rishabh Pant (31) adding 53 runs for the third wicket. Pune leaked as many as 45 runs in the final two overs as Morris went on with his natural game from the very first ball. He slammed Zampa for two fours and a six in the 19th over before clobbering Stokes for two more boundaries and as many maximums in the final over to take Delhi to the massive total.