Delhi Daredevils 179 for 6 Deccan Chargers 175 for 5 by four wickets
Man of the match: Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag’s greatness was on the display against the Deccan Chargers as he single handedly took his team to victory in a game they clearly deserved to lose. Earlier, their fielding was atrocious with catches being dropped and bowlers bowling no balls made matters worse. As a result was should have been a target of around 150 ended up being 176. Then, even with the bat, all except Sehwag struggled. Wickets fell early and by the time they were four down, the required run rate was well above 11. This is when Sehwag decided to take charge of the Chargers. He went on an all out attack, blessed with two chances, but fell only when victory was well within sight. Cleary a one man show that defeated the combined effort of 11 others from the opposition.
Sehwag’s effort outdid the one he had put up against the Kochi Tuskers Kerala a few days ago and was clearly a treat to watch. As boundaries came left right and centre, the Deccan Chargers had no answer and skipper Kumar Sangakkara looked clueless. The greatness of Sehwag’s knock can be gauged from the fact that the next best score in their innings was as low as 17, coming from James Hopes.
Even as the Daredevils’ bowlers, barring Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar, were massacred as Deccan lifted themselves to 175, Sehwag absorbed all the pressure even as the others around him failed. His partners Aaron Finch, Naman Ojha and even the in form Venugopal Rao were taken out by the pace of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma as Sehwag could only watch as a spectator. At 25 for 3 after six overs, Sehwag knew only he could take his team home. He did and how, smashing 119 off 56 as Deccan bowlers were pummeled all over the park. Sehwag was severe on everyone. He began by slamming debutant Ishan Malhotra to deep square leg and deep midwicket as well. There were more fours to follow as Sehwag took 23 from the over and set Delhi underway. More attacking strokes followed as Sehwag slammed 13 from the next over bowled by Christian.
Even when Sangakkara introduced spin, nothing changed. He slammed Amit Mishra straight over his head, but was lucky to be dropped the next ball by Ankit Sharma. He made full use of it as Sehwag as the very next ball was guided to third man as well. Even after Sehwag lost another partner in Birt, he did not slow down, or rather he could not as the run rate was still on the higher side. And it worked perfectly for Sehwag as well as Delhi. Sehwag soon slammed Mishra for three consecutive fours. In between, another chance went down and with it Deccan’s hopes.
As a last throw of the dice, Sangakkara brought back Steyn. But, the move to bring on Bharat Chipli from the other end misfired big time. His medium pacers were easily dispatched to all parts of the ground as Sehwag brought up a magnificent hundred in the process. Steyn eventually got his man in the 17th over, but then the game was well out of Deccan’s grasp.
Sehwags’ effort outdid J P Duminy stunning innings earlier in the day. After being reprieved, the left hander smashed 55 off 31 balls. Sangakkara and Shikhar Dhawan also got chances and made Delhi pay. On other days, it would have surely cost them the game, but they need to thank Sehwag for rescuing them.