Skipper Virender Sehwag slammed an explosive 73 and shared a scintillating 135-run opening stand with Mahela Jayawardene (55) to lead Delhi Daredevils to a crushing 37-run win over Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League match, here today.
Delhi put on board a mammoth 207 for five after electing to bat and then restricted Mumbai to 170 for nine to become the only team in the current edition to have scored wins against the same rival both at home and away.
If Delhi out-bowled them in the first leg, the troika of Sehwag, Jayawardene and Pietersen out-batted them in this encounter to help the hosts continue their domination at the top with 12 points eight games.
Mumbai lost their batting mainstay Sachin Tendulkar (7) in the very third over off Morne Morkel’s bowling, offering an easy catch to mid-off.
Rohit Sharma (12) was out in the next over and it became a tall-order for MI batsmen although Ambati Rayudu (62 off 39) and Dinesh Karthik (40 off 28 balls) tried their best with a 95-run fourth wicket partnership.
Once Shahbaz Nadeem (2/35) removed Rayudu and Kieron Pollard (16) in the 16th over, the match was over as a contest.
The day however belonged to the trio of Sehwag, Jayawardene and Pietersen who pulverized MI bowlers with some real power-hitting.
Sehwag who hit eight fours and four sixes added 135 runs for the opening stand with Jayawardene (55 off 42 balls as Mumbai Indian bowlers were sent on a leatherhunt.
Pietersen smashed an unbeaten 50 off 26 balls (6x4, 3x6) towards the end to beef up the total.
It was contrasting styles from two of the modern day greats. While Sehwag made a mockery of the opposition bowlers with his power-hitting, Jayawardene was more intent on caressing the ball to the boundary.
Not to forget Pietersen, who scored a 50 off only 26 balls and added 41 runs in only 2.4 overs with Ross Taylor (15) as Daredevils crossed the 200-run mark.
The onslaught started in the third over when Jayawardene decided to launch into Malinga hitting him for three boundaries. A lofted shot over mid-wicket, followed by one past backward square followed by square cut.
In the next over, Jayawardene hit a copybook cover drive and Daredevils were off the blocks. Sehwag who kept quiet after his first boundary then slashed RP Singh over point and lofted him for a straight six – his first of the innings.
A flurry of boundaries followed but the India opener was lucky when Dinesh Karthik missed a easy stumping chance off Robin Peterson bowling.
This was immediately after Sehwag went inside out to hit the left-arm spinner for a big six over long-on.
Sehwag's half century and team's 100 came in the 11th over where Kieron Pollard was taken apart for 23 runs which included two fours and two sixes by Sehwag.
His 50 came off 30 balls when he blasted Pollard for a huge six over deep mid-wicket
Jayawardene was also not the one to be left behind as he placed the balls between the gaps behind square, played reverse sweep.
His first half-century of this edition came off 39 deliveries with seven hits. Immediately after reaching 50, he slogged Malinga for another boundary.
Malinga certainly didn't look to have fully recovered from his back spasms as he wasn’t able to exert himself fully during the first two spells.
Jayawardene finally perished trying a reverse sweep off Peterson to be caught at point by Rohit Sharma. The duo added 135 runs for the first wicket which is the highest opening partnership for this edition.
MI received a setback when Kieron Pollard sustained a shoulder injury in the 13th over while trying to go for an impossible catch only to land on his shoulder. He left the field and was in considerable pain.
In-form Pietersen didn’t take much to get into the groove as he hit a couple boundaries and a big six over long-off.
With Ross Taylor for company, the two took apart the MI bowlers in the slog overs Sehwag's punishing knock came to an end when he tried to hoick Peterson in pursuit of his fifth six only to be holed out at deep extra-cover.
His innings consisted of eight boundaries and four sixes.