In one of the most exciting encounters of IPL-4 edition, down but not out Delhi Daredevils openers Virendra Sehwag (77) and Warner (77) fired from all cylinders to put up the highest total ever of 231 for star-studded Kings XI Punjab led by dashing dynamo Adam Gilchrist at Delhi’s Feroze Shah Kotla ground on Saturday. The last biggest total in IPL was scored by former champions Rajasthan Royals 214 in the past.
Put to bat by Kings XI Punjab skipper Sehwag got back into his great form along with Warner, who thrashed rival bowlers put up 100 runs in just 9 overs. Both together hit as many as 12 sixes, highest so far by any team so far in the tournament. The Delhi openers delivered when the team needed them most as they produced the best first-wicket partnership of the tournament so far by scoring 146 runs in just 11.3 overs and the team eventually posted the highest score of the season and third highest overall.
All the talk about the ‘green’ pitch, prepared to favour the hosts,
was put to dust when the Delhi duo started wielding their bats as none of the Punjab bowlers was spared the brutal spanking at the Ferozshah Kotla ground.
Sehwag’s 77-run knock came off 35 balls and had eight fours and four sixes while Warner took 48 balls for his 77, laced with 11 boundaries including four shots over the fence. Venugopal Rao (28 off 15) and Naman Ojha (19 off 8) played some lusty shots in the end in the team’s cause and also spoilt Ryan Harris’ figures by taking 22 runs from his last over. Praveen Kumar had an off day as he leaked 38 runs in his first spell of three overs, but Ryan Harris did trouble both the openers.
Except for a short ball, which Warner smashed for a six over the
mid-wicket, the Australian paceman hit the right areas. Warner was
aggressive right from the word go as he hit Praveen for two boundaries in the very first over of the match. Sehwag did not have a convincing start but right after flicking Praveen for a mid-wicket boundary he got his touch back and then smashed the same bowler for two three boundaries in the fifth over.
Kings XI Punjab Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist brought in Shalabh
Srivastava but the left-arm paceman ended up conceding 18 runs with Warner creaming him for a four and a six, propelling the score to 70 for no loss after the power-play. Warner raised his half-century with cracking mid-wicket six off Paul Valthaty and then team’s 100 with a four two balls later, setting the stage for an exciting finish. He took just 29 balls to reach the landmark. Sehwag hit his first six offSrivastava just after completing his fifty, which came off just 28balls. The Delhi marauder just got better and better as he welcomed David Hussey, playing his first game, with three massive sixes. The skipper perished while looking for his fourth consecutive six.
In reply, though Kings XI Punjab started well with skipper Adam
Gilchrist (47) and Paul Valthaty (29) giving a flying start. Later on,
David Marsh, who joined skipper Gilchrist helped the score-board
ticking thick and fast. He hit a fine 96 laced with six sixes and
eight fours, before miscuing a short ball off Ajit Agarkar and the
Delhi skipper made no mistake in taking a brilliant catch. In all,
Sehwag took three brilliant catches to help his team register their
second victory in the tournament of the five matches they played so
far. With the loss, the Kings XI Punjab were pushed to fourth position in points table from the third spot.