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 Pepsi Indian Premier League at the packed Feroz Shah Kotla here yesterday.
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.
Yesterday, 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 Vivian 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.
He told Sehwag that a batsman, even if he is out of form, should try to bluff the bowlers by showing that he is confident.
“Viv Richards also spoke about bluffing. He said even if a batsman feels scared inside he should show that he is confident,” said Sehwag. Jayawardene said: “His (Richards) presence surely made a difference. I was star struck when I saw him first. It was great to speak to him about the game. The youngsters and we guys too can learn a lot from him.”
Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar (54) and Rohit Sharma (73) added 96 runs for the third wicket in just 67 balls.
Sehwag was determined to win: Jayawardene
Delhi Daredevils captain Mahela Jayawardene yesterday said Virender Sehwag was determined to end the team's six-match losing streak.
Sehwag smashed an unbeaten 95 off 57 balls while Jayawardene stuck a classy 59 and stitched a 151-run first wicket stand as Daredevils achieved the target of 162 with three overs to spare. “It was nice to watch him (Sehwag) bat from the other end. He was timing the ball sweetly,” said Jayawardene at the post-match conference. Asked whether Sehwag was under pressure to perform, the Sri Lankan said: “Viru is someone who takes a lot of pride in his game. He wanted to play well for the franchise and the fans. We would need him to fire in the future games to be competitive.”