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A few changes in their side and a little tweaking in their batting line-up helped the Delhi Daredevils register their maiden win in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 and in style against the Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
The thumping nine-wicket victory coincided with Sir Vivian Richards joining the team in an ambassadorial and advisory role. Inspired by the legendary cricketer the team cruised to victory against the team that had beaten them earlier in the season.
Apart from Mahela opening the innings for the first time this season, Roelof van der Merwe played his first match of the season. Replacing fellow South African, Morne Morkelin the playing eleven, the left-arm spinner gave the home team their first breakthrough early in the innings. van der Merwe sent back MI opener Dwayne Smith in the fourth over to pick his first wicket in his first over.
Speaking to iplt20.com after the victory, a jubilant van der Merwe talked about the triumph, the strategy and Sir Viv Richards’ inspirational presence in the dug-out.
Excerpts from the interview:
On the team registering their first win of the season and his first game?
Yes, it is sometimes frustrating losing games and not getting a game but when you get to play and the team wins it is happy days!
On getting a wicket in his first over?
It is a good feeling, it is a relief. You have been outside for long and then a wicket in the first over… so I am happy about that.
On what Sir Vivian Richards’ advice was to the team ahead of the game?
He is a very inspirational guy; he was a hard cricketer when he played. He just said, keep fighting and things would get together (fall in place). (His) First game in and he has got us a win so it is brilliant.
On what was the plan while bowling to Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma who were on song?
Sachin is an unbelievable player. You have to be patient with them and hope that they make a mistake you just stick to your plans and hope that they give their wicket away.
On whether they felt that they could chase down the total given the string of losses?
I think our batting hasn’t been what it should be but you have a Virender Sehwag in the team and then Mahela Jayawardene and David Warner they are good batters. And tonight they gave themselves a good chance to get in and it just shows when you get in and face some balls you can chase anything.
On Mahela Jayawardene opening the batting for the first time this season?
Mahela is a batter who can bat through the innings. He normally starts slow and I think that’s what we needed, just someone to get in and work and play around aggressive batters - Sehwag and Warner and I think he has done really well.
2: Number of century partnerships forged by the pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Virender Sehwag in IPL. They became only the third opening pair to participate in two century stands after Swapnil Asnodkar and Graeme Smith (for Rajasthan Royals) and Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey (for Chennai Super Kings). Interestingly the last time these two had opened the batting together against Mumbai Indians, they had put on 135 runs without being separated!
7: Number of batsmen to aggregate 2000 runs in IPL. Sehwag joins Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle and Jacques Kallis.
9.4: Overs taken by Delhi Daredevils to race to their hundred – fastest for any side in IPL 2013. Pune Warriors India (v Rajasthan Royals) and Rajasthan Royals (v Mumbai Indians) had taken 11.2 overs to reach the three-figure mark.
12: David Warner ended on the winning side after seeing 12 consecutive defeats across different formats – two ODIs v Sri Lanka, four Tests against India and six matches in IPL.
24: Mumbai Indians’ power-play score – lowest for any team in IPL 2013, along with Pune Warriors India (v Kings XI Punjab at Pune). Mumbai Indians’ previous lowest in this edition was 26 against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur.
86: Number of wickets taken by Lasith Malinga in IPL – most by any bowler. He moved ahead of Amit Mishra’s tally of 85.
95: Sehwag’s innings – highest for any batsman in IPL 2013. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli had made an unbeaten 93 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
151: Runs added by Jayawardene and Sehwag for the opening wicket – highest partnership for any wicket in IPL 2013. It was also Delhi Daredevils’ highest partnership for any wicket against Mumbai Indians.