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Sehwag Finds Form In Easy Win For Delhi Daredevils

By on May 21, 2009

Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils 166 for 6 (Sehwag 50, Harbhajan 4-17) beat Mumbai Indians 165 for 8 (Rahane 56, Nannes 3-27) by four wickets…

Barring Harbhajan Singh’s four-wicket haul late in the chase, the Delhi Daredevils dominated their final league game with their power-hitting top order taking them to a four-wicket win which will give them a much-needed momentum ahead of the semi-final.

Ajinkya Rahane’s second half-century of the season took the Mumbai Indians to 165 against the Delhi Daredevils who opted to field in order to get some practice chasing ahead of the semi-final. Delhi have lost two of their last three games and need to get back the winning momentum, though this won’t be an easy total to overhaul.

Delhi’s fast bowlers used the bounce and movement off the pitch to trouble Mumbai. Dirk Nannes struggled with wides in his opening spell but got lift from the pitch when he bowled just short of a length. He used the width of the crease to angle the ball into Sanath Jayasuriya and had him for a first-ball duck. In his second, after being hit for two fours, Nannes got JP Duminy to edge one that rose. Pradeep Sangwan picked up Mohammad Ashraful, who looked out of depth, edging and missing before he fell for 2 off 10 balls.

Rahane, who was welcomed to the crease with a bouncer by Sangwan, began to attack after the end of the Powerplay and hit two fours in the bowler’s next over. He also survived a touch chance in the same over when Rajat Bhatia failed to hold on to a one-handed catch at square leg. Sachin Tendulkar joined in when spin was introduced in the seventh over, pulling a free hit off Amit Mishra for four. Bhatia, bowling his slow-medium stuff, sent down four tight balls and a wide before Tendulkar messed up the over with two beautifully executed fours. He late-cut the first to the third-man boundary and drove the next straight past the bowler to long-on.

After ten overs Mumbai were 72 for 3. Bhatia gave away only three in his over immediately after the strategy break but Mishra went for 15. Tendulkar lofted one over extra cover for four and got another from a miscued hit to long-off; to rub it in Rahane cut a shorter delivery to the point boundary.

Virender Sehwag brought back Sangwan, who beat Tendulkar with an angled delivery first up. He was unlucky to have Tendulkar inside-edge one past the wicketkeeper for four and concede four byes as Dinesh Karthik let a ball go through his legs. Mumbai crossed 100 in an 11-run 13th over. Tendulkar and Rahane had added 73 at more than eight an over before Bhatia bowled Tendulkar, who missed a slower ball while making room to play to extra cover. Abhishek Nayar fell five balls later to Salvi, missing one that straightened after pitching within the stumps.

But Rahane kept the run-rate ticking over seven, hitting a six – the first of the match – and a four off Mishra, who struggled with his length and went for 13 in his final over, the 17th of the innings. He also square-cut Salvi for a six and got his fifty in 37 balls.

Nannes returned to end the 43-run stand between Rahane and Pinal Shah but Mumbai will be happy to have got past 160 after failing to get 150 in their last three matches. The last five overs got them 56 and could be the deciding factor that takes them to sixth place in the points table and ends their IPL campaign on a winning note.

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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