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Licence to thrill: Sehwag shows who is boss

cricket Updated: May 06, 2011 02:40 IST
Vinayak Pande
Vinayak Pande
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

You would think the Deccan Chargers would have learnt a thing or two after paying the price for dropping Yusuf Pathan in their previous match. But, maybe, they were just warming up for an even costlier dropped catch. They obliged Virender Sehwag, of all people, as the Delhi Daredevils beat them by four wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Thursday.

Sehwag's blistering knock of 119 off just 56 deliveries was the highlight of a match that would definitely have gone to the home side if not for the Daredevils captain's sizeable contribution.

You have to hand it to the Chargers for trying to make a game of it, though. In the face of their recent run of poor form, they could have just gone through the motions. Instead, they rode their luck and also took advantage of the lifelines given to them by the Delhi Daredevils to post an extremely competitive 175 in their allotted 20 overs after being put in to bat.

The Chargers batted unevenly though as their batsmen alternated between legitimate boundaries and lucky edges that went anywhere except to the fielders. Kumar Sangakkara was especially lucky as he was dropped on way to a 36-ball 44.

The innings didn't get the impetus it needed, till JP Duminy came in to bat. The South African, who had been dropped for the Chargers' previous match, was involved in a 71-run partnership with Daniel Christian that featured the most bizarre moments of the match.

First, Duminy and then Christian were caught off Ishan Malhotra's deliveries that turned out to be no-balls. On both occasions, the batsman who swapped ends smacked the ball for a four and six.

From that point onwards, the Chargers batsmen grew in confidence and posted their best score of this season. At that point, it seemed Delhi's decision to bat second would come back to haunt them. Especially, as they slumped to 25 for three in the first six overs.

But that was before Sehwag went on the rampage that saw him clear the boundary six times. By the time he was dismissed by Dale Steyn, he had taken the match beyond the Chargers' reach.