Captain Virender Sehwag struck a belligerent 73 off 39 balls as the Delhi Daredevils scored an easy 37-run win over the Mumbai Indians on Friday to remain top of the league table in the Indian Premier League.
Sehwag’s effort was supplemented by Mahela Jayawardene (55) and Kevin Pietersen (50 not out), as Delhi amassed a huge total of 207-5 after being put in to bat. Mumbai could only manage 170-9 on a good batting pitch at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.
Sehwag dominated a rollicking 135-run opening stand with Jayawardene, smashing four sixes and eight fours during his third successive half-century in the tournament.
Lucky to survive a stumping chance on 40 off spinner Robin Peterson, Sehwag once smashed the West Indies’ Kieron Pollard for two sixes and two fours in an over that went for 23 runs. He eventually fell to Peterson, who also took the wickets of Jayawardene and Irfan Pathan, as Delhi slipped to 154-3.
However, Pietersen produced a 26-ball cameo with three sixes and six fours, including a switch-hit six off Peterson, to ensure Delhi went past the 200-mark, despite Lasith Malinga coming on to take two wickets in the 19th over of the innings.
“We discussed at the team meeting that either Mahela or me have to stay till the 15th over,” Sehwag said. “Today both of us did and we had a very good partnership.”
For Mumbai, Ambati Rayudu provided hope with a 39-ball 62, but left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem’s twin strike in the 16th over, when he dismissed both Rayudu and West Indies big-hitter Pollard, ended the challenge.
Mumbai had lost a few early wickets before a 96-run stand for the fourth wicket between Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik (40) helped the team back on track. However, Kartik was bowled by Ajit Agarkar and then Nadeem came on to take two wickets off two deliveries just when Mumbai needed to step up the run-rate.
Delhi now has six wins from eight games, while Mumbai remains on four from eight.