May 22, 2008 at 10:52pm IST

Rain deprives Delhi chance of much needed win

New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils’ hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) suffered a setback as their match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground was washed out in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Delhi were forced to share points with Kolkata, aggregating 13 with only one match left to be played against Mumbai on Saturday. They will now have to beat Mumbai and then hope that other results favour them in order to advance to the last-four stage.

Kolkata had a win less than Delhi’s six in an identical 12 matches before this one, and are out of contention with a points tally of 11 after their penultimate match.

LOSING THE PLOT: Delhi have to now pray for a victory against Mumbai, and two losses each for Mumbai and Chennai.

It was a disappointing day for fans as they were expecting a keen contest between the two teams still fancying their chances. But the start of the match was always in doubt as sharp showers rendered the field unplayable and it was well over an hour after the scheduled start of play that the umpires and captains could have a first look at the ground conditions.

But it continued to drizzle off and on and the grounds-men could not get the two hours they said they needed to dry the ground for the latest possible start, which according to rules, is 23:10 IST.

Jaipur and Mohali are the two teams to have already secured semi-final berths with 18 and 16 points respectively, and the race for the remaining two slots is between Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Mumbai have three matches to go, still due to play Jaipur and Bangalore apart from Delhi. If Mumbai lose to Delhi on Saturday, the Tendulkar-led team has to win the remaining two matches in order to qualify by taking its tally to 16. So, Delhi have to now pray for a victory against Mumbai, and two losses each for Mumbai and Chennai

If Chennai manage to win even one of their remaining two matches, they will garner 16 points to be placed third on the points table.