The virgin strip at the Sahara Stadium wasn't exactly a traditional featherbed. But when the Nawab from Najafgarh gets going, does the surface really matter?
When Virender Sehwag gets going, leave alone the pitch, even the bowler's reputation counts for little. The spectators were left in awe on Tuesday as the genius of Sehwag helped the Delhi Daredevils cruise to an eight-wicket victory over Pune Warriors and top the IPL points table.
Had it not been for Sehwag's swashbuckling innings, the target of 147 would have been challenging. But the Delhi hotshot displayed his class to help his team overhaul the target with four overs to spare.It was fitting that the victory was achieved by the man himself with a huge six over long-on — his third of the innings — off leggie Rahul Sharma.
Ensuring a win
The ferocious opener had looked set to lead the Daredevils' big chase at the Ferozshah Kotla three nights ago. However, he couldn't translate his form into victory. But Sehwag ensured he didn't repeat the mistake by seeing his team home in style and, in the process, avenged the defeat on home turf.
The only glitch for the Daredevils came in the third over of the chase when confusion resulted in Sehwag running Mahela Jayawardene out. Though the Sri Lankan veteran made his displeasure known to his captain while walking back to the pavilion, Sehwag became more determined.
The Warriors bowlers —Ashish Nehra, Alfonso Thomas, Murali Kartik and Rahul Sharma — were dispatched to all corners of the ground.
So destructive was Sehwag that his whirlwind knock made all the good work of Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa earlier in the day look mediocre.
After the Warriors lost their men in form, Jesse Ryder and Sourav Ganguly, with virtually nothing on the board, the duo took time to get used to the slow pitch before upping the scoring rate in the last five overs.
Uthappa summed up the day saying, "Viru just came and conquered today."