It took a blistering knock from Virender Sehwag to end Delhi Daredevils' six-match losing streak as they beat Mumbai Indians by nine wickets for their first win in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) at the packed Ferozeshah Kotla here Sunday.
Sehwag came back to form with a whirlwind unbeaten 95 and along with skipper Mahela Jayawardene (59), chased down the target of 162 in 17 overs with their massive 151-run stand for the first wicket. David Warner remained unbeaten on seven.
Sehwag's match-winning knock brought some life back into Daredevils' campaign. Sehwag missed the first three matches with a back spasm and was completely out of touch in the next three.
Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene. Photo: AFP
On Sunday, with the crowd chanting his name, it seemed Sehwag was determined to end the losing streak. He was not reckless but aggressive hitting 13 fours and two sixes during his 57-ball knock while Jayawardene, who preferred to give most of the strike to the local boy, struck eight fours and a six in his 43-ball crafty knock.
Perhaps some words of advice from West Indies legend Viv Richards, who has been roped in as the Daredevils' ambassador, helped the team. Richards gave some words of motivation during the team huddle ahead of the match.
Sehwag and Jayawardene made a cautious start as 17 runs came off the first three overs and then went after the Mumbai Indians bowling as 85 came off the next seven. Daredevils virtually sealed off the contest in 10 overs when they were comfortably placed at 102/0. In the next seven overs, they got 63 runs and romped home safely with nine wickets in hand.
Sehwag started slowly and got a life, batting at two, in the third over after Jasprit Bumrah dropped him at fine-leg off Munaf Patel. Then on, there was no stopping Sehwag. He set the tone of his innings whacking a four off Patel's third ball behind square leg.
In the next over, Sehwag came down hard on Bumrah hitting the youngster for two fours and a six as 17 runs came from the fourth over to open the floodgates.
Patel also found him at the receiving end of Sehwag's fury in the next over. Sehwag hit the first two balls for fours and then Jayawardene joined in to hit two more fours as 17 runs came off the over.
Sehwag and Jayawardene's innings reminded the fans of their 135-run first wicket stand in a winning cause against Mumbai Indians at the same venue last year.
Their 151-run stand here Sunday completely overshadowed some fine batting by Rohit Sharma (73) and Sachin Tendulkar (54) as Mumbai Indians put a competitive total of 161/4 in 20 overs.
Tendulkar-Sharma added 96 runs for the third wicket in just 67 balls after Mumbai lost opener Dwayne Smith (8) and Dinesh Karthik (2) cheaply. Tendulkar hit three fours and two sixes during his 47-ball measured knock while Sharma smashed five fours and five sixes during his 64-ball stay.
South African all-rounder Roelof van-der Morwe (1/35), playing his first match of the season, dismissed Smith by getting him caught at mid-off while Umesh Yadav ran out Karthik off his own bowling.