Virender Sehwag and David Warner blasted Delhi to the highest total so far in IPL4, the Daredevils posting a mammoth 231 for four before holding on for a 29-run victory.
The Delhi opening combo – arguably the most dangerous opening pair of the IPL – shared a phenomenal first-wicket stand of 146 inside of 12 overs to set the Kings XI on their way to the first 200-plus total of IPL4. In response the Kings XI made a fist of their run-chase with Shaun Marsh hitting a masterful 95 and Adam Gilchrist smashing 42. It was all in vain however as the visitors were limited to 202 for six in their 20 overs at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
Both Sehwag and Warner played with total freedom, the skipper reaching fifty from 28 balls, and Warner getting to his milestone in 29 deliveries. The 12th over saw David Hussey – playing in his first IPL game of the season, brought into the attack and Sehwag launched into a startling offensive, hitting the off-spinner’s first three deliveries for six.
Hussey though would gain revenge with the fourth ball of the over caught by Dinesh Karthik at midwicket – Sehwag out for 77 from just 35 balls with eight fours and four sixes.
Number three Yogesh Nagar added 11 via a four and a six, with Warner continuing the blitz with his fourth six, before he too fell for 77 (from 48 balls) – caught at long on by Ryan Harris off Vinay Kumar’s bowling.
The Delhi domination did not stop with the Australian’s departure, Venugopal Rao and Naman Ojha playing superb cameos at the back-end of the innings to power the Daredevils to 200 and beyond. The pair shared 47 runs from the last 18 balls, clubbing 22 from Ryan Harris’ 20th over.
Ojha would end 19 not out while Rao’s 28 came from just 15 balls. Fourteen wides was also excessive from the Kings XI, with the home side smashing 20 fours and 12 sixes in their 20 overs.
With the proven firepower in their top-three to chase down anything, the Kings XI would still have been confident of having a chance on a stunning batting wicket at the Kotla.
They were gifted two early chances too, both Gilchrist and Paul Valthaty profitting from dropped catches, the skipper in the opening over and his partner in the second over, blasting the next two Irfan Pathan deliveries for consecutive sixes to rub salt into the wound.
Pathan however would get his revenge in his next over, having the tournament’s leading run-getter caught for 14 – Punjab 25 for one.
The run-chase maintained it’s momentum through Gilchrist, the Australian joined by compatriot Shaun Marsh in a stand of 72 which kept the visitors hopes alive. The skipper though would fall at a key moment, bowled by Varun Aaron for a 33-ball knock of 42.
Dinesh Karthik added just six before being caught off Ajit Agarkar who was given a Kings XI start, while Dave Hussey – the second most expensive foreign player in the IPL – blasted two sixes and then perished for the cause, caught at midwicket for 20 from 10 deliveries.
All the while Shaun Marsh proved the backbone of the chase with some vintage hitting, six sixes and nine fours, and while he was in the middle the visitors still had a chance.
With the left-hander nearing a startling and deserved hundred, Morne Morkel was brought back into the attack and the Proteas paceman induced a top edge which Sehwag gratefully accepted. Marsh’s 95 came from 46 balls, but his departure signalled the end for the Kings XI who would go on to finish 202 for six from their 20 overs.
The result sees Delhi pick up their second win of the season though they stay bottom of the table on net run-rate. The Kings XI meanwhile stay third with their three-games unbeaten run coming to an end. Cricket365