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Sehwag leads top-ranked Delhi Daredevils to 37-run win over Mumbai Indians
By IPL desk
Mumbai 28 April 2012
When Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersenscore half-centuries in a 20-over innings, not often will their team end up on the losing side. Inserted to bat first, the Delhi Daredevils indulged in a run-fiesta and thrashed the Mumbai Indians by 37 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
After their batsmen gave them a cosy cushion of 207 runs, the DD bowlers did the rest. The stage was set when they dismissed three MI batsmen – Aiden Blizzard (0), Sachin Tendulkar (7) and Rohit Sharma (12) – by the time the score was 19 in 3.1 overs. Irfan Pathan picked up two of those early wickets.
However, a belligerent 96-run stand between Dinesh Karthik (40 off 28 balls) and Ambati Ruyudu (62 off 39 balls) delayed DD’s rout of MI. Just when MI threatened to make a match out of it, Daredevils’ new spin star, Shahbaz Nadeem, dismissed the dangerous Rayudu and Kieron Pollard off consecutive balls. That put to rest Mi’s victory hopes. Morne Morkel continued to be mean and miserly, bowling four overs for 21 runs and picking up the prized wicket of Tendulkar.
Earlier, the contest between the two heavyweight teams was set rolling with a battle between two Sri Lankans – Lasith Malinga and Mahela Jayawardene. It was the batsman who emerged victorious hands down, scoring 25 runs off his countryman off 12 balls.
The silken touch of the Lankan batsman was perfectly complemented by the marauding style of Virender Sehwag. Jayawardene showed his class with elegant flicks, crisp cuts and exquisite drives. His Indian partner, however, sent the ball in the air time and again. He slashed it over point, smashed it over midwicket and lofted it straight. With this fire and ice combination, the two toyed with the MI bowlers and put up 135 runs – the highest opening partnership in IPL 2012 so far. Sehwag brought up his half-century in 30 balls. The carnage ended when Jayawardene’s uppish reverse sweep off Robin Peterson was caught at point.
Kevin Pietersen took some time to set up his breathtaking 26-ball half-century. He then unleashed some muscular drives and heaves all round the wicket to steal the spotlight from Sehwag. Spending too much time at the non-striker’s end is clearly not Sehwag’s thing. It showed when the dashing opener moved far too across to play an aerial cover drive and got caught in the deep. However, before departing, the Daredevils captain had scored 73 runs off 39 balls with eight fours and four sixes.
After losing Irfan Pathan a ball later, the Daredevils were bolstered by yet another power-packed partnership, between Pietersen and Ross Taylor. In their 41-run stand off 16 balls, Pietersen did all the damage, and he was especially harsh on left-arm spinner Robin Peterson. Of all the thrilling shots that he played during his unbeaten knock of 50, the audacious switch-hit off Peterson for six in the 18th over was the highlight. Scorecard:
Man-of-the-Match: Virender Sehwag for his scintillating 73-run knock off 39 balls that was embellished with eight fours and four sixes
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the visitors put up a competitive score of 177, thanks to Cameron White’s feisty 46-ball 78. Shikhar Dhawan (16 off 11 balls) and Parthiv Patel (24 off 18 balls) got DC off to a quick start with the 50-run mark coming up in just 5.5 overs. However, with the home team accounting for both openers before the completion of the sixth over, and Sangakkara (12) being bowled by Rahul Sharma off the first ball of the 12th over, DC were on their way to a subpar score. They were reeling at 83 for three in 11.1 overs.
It was at this stage that White stepped up and lifted the Chargers’ run-rate. The Australian batsman posted his first half-century of the tournament as he went after the PWI bowlers with absolute disdain. Marlon Samuels was lofted over the extra cover boundary in the 14th over for a six, while Rahul Sharma was carted for 19 runs in the 16th over of the innings. White 78 (46 balls) eventually fell to Samuels in the 18th over, but with JP Duminy remaining unbeaten with a 24-ball 26, the Chargers were able to post 177 for four in 20 overs.
In reply, PWI batsmen failed to produce the one innings that would have taken them past the target. Three of their top five batsmen got starts – Manish Pandey (21), Sourav Ganguly (23), Robin Uthappa (29) – but couldn’t convert those into anything substantial for the home team to have a shot in the run-chase.
By the time Steven Smith came out to bat at 88 for four in 13.1 overs, the hosts required an imposing 90 runs from the last 41 deliveries. Smith tried to have a go at the steep asking-rate with a 13-ball 26. However, when he was caught at long-on by JP Duminy off Rusty Theron in the 17th over, all hopes of a PWI win vanished. The hosts finished at 159 for seven in 20 overs, thereby handing an 18-run win to the Deccan Chargers.
Deccan Chargers remain in last place in league standings despite this win, while the Pune Warriors India are placed sixth with eight points from nine matches.