Delhi were just not destined to pick up the two points they so badly needed in their match against Mohali. In the most surreal of conditions with rain drenching the Kotla and dust storms sending pieces of paper, cartons and other sundry confetti swirling across the ground, Mohali pulled out all stops and continued their dream run in this tournament.
The first deluge
The rain that delayed the start of play was a mere drizzle in the face of the shots Virender Sehwag rained down. Gautam Gambhir's 40 went almost unnoticed as Sehwag ploughed into overdrive. Team tally
VRV Singh was cut brutally over point for a flat six and that was followed by a carve over third-man in a 22-run sixth over. Powar and Piyush Chawla were the next to suffer. Chawla was slogswept into the stands while Sehwag came down the pitch to Powar with utter disrespect and launched the ball over midwicket. Off only 19 balls Sehwag had raced to 47, only 2 fours to go with his five crisp sixes.
Fans waited patiently in their uncovered stands, drenched to the bone, but gusting winds only brought more rain just as the covers came off and the players prepared to restart. Thankfully, this was the briefest of intermissions and at 11pm, the players returned for an 11-over-a-side match, with Mohali needing 123 after the target was revised through the Duckworth Lewis method.
Swing of a different kind
With the ball swirling around in the fierce gusts of wind, there was little chance for the bowlers to attempt to swing the ball. Mohali's batsmen, however, had little choice but to swing at everything that came at them, given the steep target. Shaun Marsh played and missed against Glenn McGrath before toe-ending Pradeep Sangwan up in the air. Sprinting back from cover, Shikhar Dhawan threw himself before Shoaib Malik and pulled off the catch of the tournament.
Captain sets the tone
Yuvraj Singh blazed 23 off only 8 balls but a mistimed pull swirled over mid-on and Farveez Maharoof ran back and dived full-length to pluck out the second blinder of the innings.
Mahela Jayawardene (36 not out off 17 balls), constantly checking the Duckworth Lewis par score with the umpires, deftly deflected the ball into the gaps, proving that quick runs could be had even without brute force. Luke Pomersbach (25 not out off 12 balls) at the other end, used the power method and the two brought up their 50 partnership off only 18 balls. Rajat Bhatia, coming on to bowl in the 8th over with 38 needed from 24 balls, conceded only 2 from his first five balls but was pulled for a big six off the last. For the final time in the day, the rain came down, with Mohali just ahead by the Duckworth Lewis method, winning by six runs.