Kochi: Virender Sehwag hit a rollicking half-century as Delhi Daredevils (DD) scored a 38-run win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) to keep its play-offs hopes alive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Saturday.
Sehwag blazed his way to a 47-ball 80 to lead his side to a competitive 157 for seven after electing to bat on a very difficult track, which had uneven bounce.
Delhi were gasping 37 for three at one stage but Sehwag played sensibly as he first guarded his wicket when his teammates were vanishing from the other end and then played his usual aggressive self.
The visitors then bowled out the hosts for 119 in 18.5 overs to record a much-needed win as they were languishing at the bottom of the points table, coming into this contest.
It was Delhi’s third win in eight matches while Kochi now have suffered third defeat in a row.
With this win Delhi have jumped to seventh spot from 10th while Kochi are now second from last.
Batting was a big challenge on the Nehru stadium wicket for both the sides as some balls did not bounce above the ankles and some zoomed up to the chin level.
The Delhi pace trio of Morne Morkel (3/18), Ajit Agarkar (2/23) and Irfan Pathan (2/27) shared seven wickets among them and played a crucial role in scripting their side’s win.
Spinner Roelof van der Merwe (3/20) ran through the Kochi tail, taking three wickets in five balls in the 19th over, to contribute in win.
Ravindra Jadeja (31) and Brad Hodge (27) were the only batsmen who went past the 25-run mark for Kochi.
Kochi needed 59 runs off the last four overs and Jadeja kept their hopes alive by smashing van der Merwe for a six, taking 10 runs from the 17th over.
Vinay Kumar (11) hammered Agarkar for a six in the next over and Delhi players had their hearts pumping fast. But Agarkar did a big favour to his side by getting the danger man Jadeja out in the last ball of that over.
Kochi still needed 40 from 12 balls but van der Merwe took all three remaining wickets -- Ramesh Powar (0) and Sreesanth (0) and Vinay -- in space of five balls to seal the fate of the hosts.