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Viru serves up a Delhi-cacy

A quality Delhi bowling attack came up against a Hyderabad batting order seemingly made for T20 cricket and set up a comfortable win. Anand Vasu reports.

cricket Updated: Apr 23, 2008 02:52 IST
Anand Vasu

A quality Delhi bowling attack came up against a Hyderabad batting order seemingly made for Twenty20 cricket and set up yet another comfortable win. The quintet of quick bowlers scripted yet another clinical triumph, this time by nine wickets. Virender Sehwag would have liked a bigger target than 143 for he ended on a brilliant 94 off 41 balls and was on course for a hundred.

With TA Sekar at the helm of cricket affairs in the team and Dennis Lillee as advisor it doesn't take an Einstein to deduce that Delhi's accent will be on pace. Glenn McGrath was bang on target from ball one, but it was the man who has openly admitted to idolising the Pigeon, Mohammad Asif, who provided the early magic.

Adam Gilchrist played away from his body to one that moved just enough off the pitch to cause problems and dragged the ball back onto his stumps.

Laxman lasted six balls for two runs before a perfectly pitched indipper from Asif beat the stroke and castled Hyderabad's captain.

On the bright side, Hyderabad looked to their power-packed batting line-up to reverse the run of play. For a time Andrew Symonds managed that, taking on McGrath and lofting him magnificently back down the ground and through the off side. Venugopala Rao, whose across-the-line efforts were far from successful, made room and carved one over cover. Unfortunately for him, it was one of those rare shots that he timed well and picked out Shikhar Dhawan on the ropes.

When Symonds fished outside the off to a clever outswinger from Farveez Maharoof, he only managed an outside edge which Dinesh Karthik held well, tumbling to his right.

If 45 for 4 was bad, things took a further downturn when the dangerous Shahid Afridi, inexplicably batting as low as No. 6, was trapped plumb in front off Rajat Bhatia's first ball. In the 13th over only 60 runs were on the board, and a noisy crowd egged on by a banshee of a DJ-cum-announcer, went silent. Rohit Sharma eased the pain briefly, confirming the pitch was offering no special assistance to the fast bowlers.

Maharoof was at the wrong end of Sharma's charge and the 18th over read 6-6-4-4-4-2. But when Sharma holed out for a 36-ball 66, Hyderabad were still well short, ending on 142.

That proved to be woefully short as Delhi blitzed to victory with seven overs to spare on the back of Sehwag's innings. Gautam Gambhir fell early, but it mattered little. With no pressure from the target, Sehwag had the luxury of choosing which balls to hit, and he did so with brutal precision. Sehwag took 30 off Symonds' second over, the 13th of the innings, with the sequence reading 4-6-4-6-4-6. With their bowling performing like clockwork, and the batsmen finishing the job in style, Delhi have played two near-perfect matches so far.