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IPL T20 2011 – DD vs KTK: Super Sehwag Saves Delhi The Day

By on April 30, 2011

Delhi Daredevils 157 for 7 (Sehwag 80, Sreesanth 2-10) beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala 119 (Jadeja 31, M Morkel 3-18) by 38 runs…

For his super-heroics, Virender Sehwag should consider wearing a cape. It’s not often that runs are hard to score in a competition like the IPL. The wickets are even-paced, the boundaries are short, and bowlers arrive on a feeder line to be smashed to pulp. However, against Kochi Tuskers, the Nehru Stadium today was different.

The boundaries were big, Kochi’s pace attack was on top, and the ball bounced with the full energy of a corpse. With his first ball of the match, Sreesanth removed David Warner. The ball didn’t get up at all, knocking back the base of the off-stump. In the same over, Naman Ojha looked to glance a ball which stayed even lower, knocking into his boots in front of leg-stump. The LBW was approved.

Hence, when the conditions are loaded in favour of bowlers, an innings like Sehwag’s become hard to forget in a tournament where there’s little premium on high-scoring. Back to the wall, at the bottom of the table, in a do-or-die situation, the Delhi captain made 80 (47b, 8×4, 5×6), helping Delhi make 157-7 when it seemed they would struggle to reach 120. This would rank among Sehwag’s finest knocks in any format.

Only one other batsman in the game crossed 30 — Kochi’s Ravindra Jadeja — but the game had slipped out of their grasp by then. Kochi went down by 38 runs, and Delhi have now vacated the last place on the points table for Pune Warriors.

With wickets falling, Delhi’s scoring came to a crawl after they decided to bat. At 60-3 in 12 overs, Sehwag was batting on an un-Sehwag like 31 off 32. Delhi’s’ revival began here. He deposited Jadeja over long-off and then deep midwicket to end the 13th over. He then pulled Vinay Kumar over midwicket for another six to bring up the fifty, followed by a chop past point for four.

B Akhil was then sent over extra cover for six, and two fours through point and midwicket. Suddenly, Delhi were on 116 in 16, and 150 looked on. Ramesh Powar arrived to take more punishment: a six over midwicket and a loft over extra cover for four. It seemed Sehwag would get a hundred but he hit Vinay to the man at the cover boundary.

Kochi’s chase never took off. Michael Klinger was caught acrobatically at square leg. Brendon McCullum tried to swat Irfan Pathan, missed, and was bowled. Again, the ball stayed low. Another one shot along the surface and penetrated Parthiv Patel’s defence.

Morne Morkel and Ajit Agarkar wiped out Kochi’s middle order, Roelof van der Merwe cleaned up the tail, and suddenly, Delhi had moved three places up to seventh. So violent have been the fluctuations in team standings this IPL, Delhi may find their way back into the top four with a couple of more wins. But for that to happen, they will need more Sehwag super-heroics.

AR Hemant, Yahoo! Cricket

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