De Villiers helps Delhi reach IPL semi-finals

BLOEMFONTEIN: AB de Villiers smashed a solid half-century as Delhi Daredevils stormed into the Indian Premier League semi-finals with a 14-run win over Rajasthan Royals here on Sunday.

The South African hit a 55-ball 79 not out for his third half-century of the tournament to help Delhi post a challenging 150-3. Delhi then restricted Rajasthan to 136-9 to post their ninth win in 12 matches.

South African Johan Botha top-scored with 37 in a below-par Rajasthan's batting performance. Ravinder Jadeja (24) and last-man Munaf Patel (23 not out) were the other notable contributors.

Delhi leg-spinner Amit Mishra bagged three wickets in his last over to finish with 3-33.

Delhi lead the eight-team tournament with 18 points from 12 matches, followed by Chennai (15/12), Deccan (14/13), Punjab (14/13), Rajasthan (13/13), Bangalore (12/12), Mumbai (11/13) and Kolkata (3/12).

The top four sides advance to the semi-finals.

Man-of-the-match de Villiers propped up the innings with an 87-run stand for the third wicket with Tillakaratne Dishan (33) after openers Gautam Gambhir (eight) and Virender Sehwag (two) had fallen in seamer Patel's second over.

The South African then put on 48 for the unfinished fourth wicket with Dinesh Karthik, with 35 coming in the last two overs. Karthik remained unbeaten with 23 off just 11 deliveries.

De Villiers is now the tournament's second-highest scorer with 405 runs after Australian opener Matthew Hayden (546).