Sehwag, Warner script Delhi’s much needed win

Sehwag, Warner script Delhi’s much needed win

New Delhi: Virender Sehwag (77) and David Warner (77) cracked blistering half-centuries as Delhi Daredevils revived their IPL campaign by edging past strong contenders Kings XI Punjab by 29 runs in a high-scoring thriller here on Saturday.

The Delhi openers took the Punjab attack by the scruff of its neck and led the hosts to a mammoth 231 for four, the highest total of the fourth edition and third-best overall, after being invited to bat at Ferozshah Kotla ground.

Chennai Super Kings’s 246 for five against Rajasthan Royals last year is the highest total by any IPL team in all seasons. Chennai also has the second best total of 240 for five to its name, scored in 2008 against Kings XI Punjab.

Sehwag and Warner delivered when the team needed them the most as they produced the best first-wicket partnership of the tournament so far by scoring 146 runs in just 11.3 overs.

The hosts snapped Punjab’s three-match winning streak by restricting them to 202 for six in their 20 overs.

Chasing 232 to win, Punjab’s Shaun Marsh produced a sensational innings of 95 runs off just 46 balls but it was Delhi’s day out in the end. Marsh’s incredible knock was studded with nine fours and six sixes.

It was Delhi’s second win in five matches and first at home. They desperately needed this victory as they were placed at the bottom of the points table after suffering defeats against Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Deccan Chargers.

The ‘green’ wicket, which was prepared to assist the home fast bowlers, turned out to be a batting paradise as Sehwag, Warner and later on Marsh punished the bowlers severely and at will.

Kings XI Punjab put up a brave fight despite losing the new batting sensation Paul Valthaty (14) early on with Australian duo of skipper Adam Gilchrist (42) and Marsh sharing a quick-fire 72-run stand for the second wicket.

Gilchrist was in awesome touch as he hit Ajit Agarkar for four consecutive fours in his first over but Varun Aaron, dubbed as India’s fastest bowler, ended the rival skipper’s innings by cleaning him up in the 11th over.

Marsh continued to hammer Delhi bowlers but wickets continued to fall from the other end as Dinesh Karthik (6) and David Hussey (20) perished while trying to accelerate.

Marsh took his side close to the target but the score eventually proved too big for the visitors. Marsh missed his century when his mis-timed shot landed in the safe hands of Sehwag in the 18th over.

Only thrice a score in excess of 200 has been chased in the IPL history and it was really a hard job for Punjab to add to that number.