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Sehwag's daredevilry sees Pune go down

Skipper Virender Sehwag butchered a lacklustre Pune Warriors India attack as Delhi Daredevils romped home by eight wickets in an Indian Premier League encounter, here today.

Sehwag scored 87 off a mere 48 balls as Delhi exacted sweet revenge for their defeat at the hands of the same opposition three days back.

Delhi's domination was evident by the fact that they won the match with as many as four overs to spare. And leading the charge was Sehwag whose innings was studded with 10 fours and three six.

Sehwag added 89 runs for the second wicket with Kevin Pietersen (27 off 21) in just 8.2 overs, and that paved the way for the convincing victory.

Earlier, despite a few drop catches, the Daredevils rode on a disciplined bowling effort to restrict the Warriors to a modest 146 for two.

When the visitors turn to bat came, Mahela Jayawardene initially went for his shots, while Sehwag was happy to play the second fiddle, but after the Sri Lankan was run out for a 14-ball 18, the latter started to free his arms.

After sending the ball twice to the fence in one of Ashish Nehra's overs, Sehwag hit Luke Wright, who replaced Angelo Mathews for this game, for a four and a six off consecutive balls.

Pietersen joined the party and the duo smashed the Pune bowlers at will to take the team past the 100-mark in the 11th over.

Rahul Sharma gave the hosts a breakthrough by sending back Pietersen, but by then the damage had already been done.

It was just a matter of time before Sehwag and Ross Taylor took the Daredevils home. The Daredevil captain finished the game with a trademark six over long on off Rahul Sharma.

Sourav ganguly
PWI skipper Sourav Ganguly (centre) tries to motivate his team. Pic/AFP 

Earlier, Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa scored half-centuries as Pune Warriors managed to recover from a disastrous start to score 146 for two.

Pandey -- who wasn't exactly in his element having failed in the first four matches -- roared back to form with an unbeaten 80 off 56 balls that had seven boundaries and three sixes.

His unbroken partnership of 145 for the third wicket with Robin Uthappa (60 no, 58 balls, 6x4) ensured that home team put on a total with which their bowlers can atleast fight.

Having managed only 50 in the first 10 overs, the Karnataka duo smashed 96 off the back 10.

Electing to bat first, Warriors did not have a good start to their innings as Irfan Pathan accounted for in-form Jesse Ryder with the second ball of the match. The Kiwi left-hander was played on as the delivery kept a bit low.

Things got even worse for the hosts as skipper Suorav Ganguly charged out against Morne Morkel in the next over only managing to get a thick outside edge down to Shabaz Nadeem at third-man.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan (right) is estatic after taking PWI opener Jesse Ryder's wicket. Pic/AFP  

With the Pune left tattering at 1/2, it was left to Uthappa and Pandey to ressurect the innings.

After starting off in a subdued manner, both the batsmen went for their shots bringing up the 50 of the Pune innings in the 10th over of the match.

Pandey was lucky to get a 'life' after Kevin Pietersen put him down at long-on off the bowling of Pawan Negi in the ninth over.

The Karnatka lad, again got lucky when Nadeem dropped him of his own bowling in the 14th over. The 22-year-old, however, did not get bogged down by the incident as he hammered Pathan over the mid-wicket fence in the next over for the second six of his innings just after bringing up his half-century in the previous delivery.

As Pandey went for his shots, Uthappa was happy playing the second fiddle as rotated the strike well. He also hit the occasional boundaries. However it was Pandey whose attractive strokes including a steer off Umesh Yadav was a real treat.

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