Sehwag strikes form in Delhi win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Centurion Park, Centurion
Scorecard:Mumbai Indians v Delhi Daredevils
Player:SR Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, AM Rahane
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 21st May 2009


Virender Sehwag struck form at just the right moment as Delhi sounded another defeat for the Mumbai Indians. An in form Sehwag would surely be a cause of huge worry for any opposition in the semifinals as there is still a lot of important cricket to be played in this tournament. Another good thing that happened for the Delhi side was that both Viru and Gambhir looked well as a pair after a long period.


Chasing 166 to win, Delhi got off to a flier courtesy some exquisite batting from the willow of David Warner and Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir went berserk behind Dhawal Kulkarni in his first over and the impact of that was seen in the bowlers entire spell. Kulkarni though struck back to send David Warner back to the dug-out after the southpaw had hit 15 runs off only nine deliveries.


Sehwag then came in and one of the best batting displays began at the Centurion. He and his opening partner for Delhi nailed the opposition bowling which looked absolutely out of sorts. The duo added 68 runs in less than eight overs and by the time Gambhir got out to a Malinga slower delivery after scoring 47, Delhi were almost cruising to victory. A quickfire 43 was added between Tillekratne Dilshan (24) and Sehwag (50 off 27 deliveries). The duo wreaked havoc on the Mumbai bowling in their short stint at the crease and even Malinga was not spared. The slinger went for two sixes during this partnership.


But just when it seemed the duo would rush Delhi home, disaster struck in the form of Harbhajan Singh. He scalped four wickets and suddenly Delhi Daredevils who were till now cruising started to stutter a tad bit. First Dilshan got dismissed and was immediately followed by Sehwag cleaned up by Harbhajan. Harbhajan then returned in the 17th over and another two wickets in two balls brought Mumbai a semblance of a chance.


The Delhi side then needed 13 runs in 20 balls and suddenly it seemed that the total was a little bit too much but then Amit Mishra hit a timely 13 off just four deliveries to finish the proceedings for his side and made sure Delhi play the semifinals with a victory at the back of their minds.


Earlier batting first after losing the toss, Mumbai started on a usual bad note as Jayasuriya fell for naught, plumb in front of his wickets to Dirk Nannes. After opening the Delhi bowling with two wides, Nannes scalped Jayasuriya's wicket on the next legal one. He then lured JP Duminy (9) to lodge one straight into Dinesh Karthik's hands in his very next over.


Mohammad Ashraful walked in to bat and looked rusty having not had any match practice till now. He looked totally uncomfortable against all bowlers and finally Sangwan got the better of him making him nick one to the wicketkeeper where Karthik didn't make any mistake.


But Sachin Tendulkar then held fort and found a good ally in Ajinkya Rahane. The duo started on a cautious note but Sachin cut loose once the leg-spinner Amit Mishra was introduced and hit him for a boundary of the free hit the bowler provided in the very first ball he bowled. Tendulkar and Rahane added 73 runs for the third wicket before Rajat Bhatia scalped the big fish, sending back Tendulkar four runs short of a deserving fifty. Sachin's knock came in 41 deliveries and was studded with eight delicious boundaries.


Sachin's downfall brought Abhishek Nayar to the wicket who once again failed to impress. This man's failure has been a major hindrance and a good reason for Mumbai's failures in this edition of the Indian Premier League. He again failed, this time falling prey to a Salvi inswinger for a paltry personal score of just four runs.


At that time it seemed Mumbai's batting has again let them down again but Rahane had other ideas. He played a very unlike Rahane knock and made sure Mumbai post a competitive total on the board. He continued playing his shots till the last over accumulating 56 runs off 41 balls which included five boundaries and two sixes. A good last couple of overs which went for 11 and 10 runs respectively made sure Mumbai pass the 160 mark after having failed to go past the 150 mark in their last three matches. The total also gave their bowlers something decent to bowl for.


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