Sehwag steers Delhi Daredevils to win over Rajasthan Royals

IPL Cricket

Virender Sehwag butchered Rajasthan Royals with a blistering 75 as Delhi Daredevils bulldozed their opponents from Jaipur by six wickets for their second successive win in the Indian Premier League here on Monday.

Sehwag’s swashbuckling 34-ball 75, bejewelled with eight brutal fours and five massive sixes, made it a lop-sided contest as the Daredevils cruised to 142 for four in 17.1 overs, inflicting on their opponents their second straight defeat of the tournament.

Earlier put into bat, Rajasthan Royals found themselves in a hole before the 60-run stand between Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (53 not out) and Paras Dogra (29) lent some respectability to their total of 141 fos six which was never enough.

Chasing a modest target, the Daredevils got off to a rollicking start – cruising to 42 for no loss in just ogver three overs — with Virender Sehwag in the thick of things.

Sehwag hit Dmitri Mascarenhas for back-to-back fours, a treatment meted out to Shaun Tait as well.

Munaf Patel was welcomed with a six, followed by a four and even though Mascarenhas removed Gautam Gambhir (9) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (0) off successive deliveries, Sehwag was simply unstoppable.

To make it worse for the Royals, Shaun Tait dropped Sehwag off Mascarenhas when the batsman was on 41 and the Delhi power-hitter celebrated the respite hitting Amit Unyal’s first three deliveries for two sixes with a four sandwiched in between.

Munaf Patel eventually ended Sehwag’s blitzkrieg knock with Graeme Smith taking a blinder but the match was well in the Daredevils’ pocket by then.

Earlier, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala’s unbeaten 53 saved Rajasthan Royals the blushes as the 2008 champions fumbled and faltered their way to 141 for six.

Rajasthan Royals looked in a complete mess before Jhunjhunwala’s 60-run stand with Paras Dogra (29) sort of steadied the ship.

Jhunjhunwala’s unbeaten 53 came off 45 balls with five fours and a six in it but the Royals could never break free as most of the Daredevils bowlers maintained a stifling line and length.

The Rajasthan Royals began with Swapnil Asnodkar (5) putting away the first ball of the innings for a delectable four before his opening partner Graeme Smith (18) hit Farveez Maharoof for two boundaries in that high-yielding over.

Dirk Nannes, however, had other ideas and his very second delivery saw Asnodkar’s back with an agile Tillakaratne Dilshan taking a smart, low catch at backward point.

Next man in Nama Ojha (24) took the Daredevils attack by the scruff of its neck before his unbridled aggression brought his peril.

The stumper-batsman hit Maharoof for two fours in the third over before Daredevils captain Gautam Gambhir pressed leggie Amit Mishra in service.

Ojha gently patted back the first Mishra delivery before going berserk, hitting back-to-back boundaries and then following it with a clean hit that cleared the long on ropes.

Mishra settled the score with the next delivery as a clueless Ojha lost his stumps to a perfectly disguised googly.

Despite Maharoof going for runs, Gambhir persisted with the lanky Sri Lankan, who responded by removing the dangerous Yusuf Pathan for a duck, an anti-climactic innings by the towering swashbuckler whose 37-ball 100 against Mumbai Indians was the first century of this year’s IPL.

Pathan, foxed by Maharoof’s slower delivery, went for a swish and AB de Villiers took a well-judged catch in the deep.

Four runs later, Smith was on his way back to the pavilion when a fumbling Virender Sehwag pouched his mistimed pull off Pradeep Sangwan in his third attempt.

Smith’s dismissal meant the first 50 runs cost the Royals four top order batsmen in just over eight overs.

Jhunjhunwala and Dogra stemmed the rot, playing conventional cricket even though it meant nearly six overs without a boundary.

They had just started to open up when an almighty mix-up with Jhunjhunwala ended Dogra’s stay, ending their 60-run stand in just over eight overs and the Royals did not get the later burst that could have taken them past the 150-mark.

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