Sehwag secures Delhi win
Kochi - Virender Sehwag constructed a superb half-century in trying conditions as the Delhi Daredevils cruised to a 38-run win over the Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Saturday.
Sehwag blazed his way to 80 off just 47 balls as Delhi posted a formidable 157 for seven before Morne Morkel took three for 18 and Roelof van der Merwe claimed three for 20 as Kochi were bowled out for 119 in 18.5 overs.
Sehwag was a class above the other batsman as he managed to negotiate a pitch which had very little pace in it while it also provided variable bounce with some deliveries shooting through at ankle height.
But Sehwag showed his ability as he helped himself to eight fours and five sixes as he scored more than half of his team’s runs
The 32-year-old batsman took his time in getting to grips with the difficult pitch as he took 32 balls to score 31 runs.
But he went on the attack by striking two consecutive sixes off the bowling of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja as the batsman proceeded to score 49 runs off the next 15 deliveries that he faced.
Sehwag eventually fell when he holed out to deep extra cover off the bowling of seamer Vinay Kumar in the 18th over.
Delhi won the toss and elected to bat but they suffered a double blow in the second over when Shanthakumaran Sreesanth picked up two wickets in four balls.
The fiery quick bowled David Warner (3) and trapped Naman Ojha (0) with two deliveries which kept ridiculously low.
Delhi slipped deeper into trouble, on 35 for three, when Venugopal Rao (1) was out lbw to Jadeja.
However, Sehwag and Yogesh Nagar (22) put on 56 runs for the fourth wicket to steady the innings before Nagar was run out at the keeper’s end as he tried for a second run only to be found wanting by Jadeja’s accurate throw from the cover boundary.
Australian Travis Birt weighed with a quick-fire 20 towards the backend of the innings to build on Sehwag’s efforts.
Sreesanth bowled with great accuracy with the new ball to end with figures of two for 10 off four overs.
Kochi never really looked like challenging Delhi’s total and they were in early trouble as they slumped to 28 for three
Morkel made the initial breakthrough, when he had Michael Klinger (2) caught at square leg, before left-arm quick Irfan Pathan bowled Brendon McCullum (7) and Parthiv Patel (1) in successive overs with deliveries that kept low.
Mahela Jayawardene (18) and Brad Hodge (27) tried their best to stop the rot with a fourth-wicket stand of 22 but Jayawardene perished when he slapped a slower ball from seamer Ajit Agarkar straight to midwicket.
Morkel claimed his second wicket when he had Hodge caught behind by keeper Ojha before the big South African fast bowler also had Balachandra Akhil (13) caught behind to leave Kochi reeling on 93 for six.
Agarkar nipped in with his second wicket when he had Jadaja (31) caught in the deep before Van der Merwe ended the match in a hurry.
The left-arm spinner claimed three wickets in an over when he bowled Ramesh Powar (0) and Sreesanth (0) before having Vinay Kumar (11) caught at point.
The win moved Delhi off the bottom of the table into seventh place while Kochi drop down to ninth place.
Kochi Tuskers Kerala – Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel (wk), Brad Hodge, Ravindra Jadeja, Michael Klinger, Balachandra Akhil, Ramesh Powar, Vinay Kumar, Rudra Pratap Singh, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.
Delhi Daredevils – David Warner, Virender Sehwag (capt), Irfan Pathan, Travis Birt, Venugopal Rao, Naman Ojha (wk), Roelof van der Merwe, Yogesh Nagar, Ajit Agarkar, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav.