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Ken Borland

Pune lose to Sehwag scorcher

Posted on April 24, 2012 by Ken

The Pune Warriors ran into Virender Sehwag at his best, losing their Indian Premier League match against the Delhi Daredevils by eight wickets at their Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.


Sehwag was in hot form, hammering 87 not out off just 48 balls, his scorching strokeplay bringing him 10 fours and three sixes as Delhi cantered to their target of 147 with four overs to spare.

The Indian opener showed once again why he is such a class act, timing and placing the ball magnificently and working the bowlers with great skill through the on-side and being as ruthless as ever when he was given space outside off stump.

Sehwag laughed off his involvement in an awful mix-up with Mahela Jayawardena, who was run out for 18 when Luke Wright suddenly emerged from behind the square-leg umpire and fired in a quick throw to wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa.

The Daredevils were 22 for one in the third over, but Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen quickly banished any hopes Pune had of securing their second victory over Delhi as they added 89 for the second wicket in 8.2 overs.

Pietersen scored a comfortable 27 off 21 balls before he skied a drive off leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, but Sehwag stayed through to the end in a top-class innings, flatbatting Rahul for a straight six to end the match.

Rahul finished his four overs with 1-33 but, although none of the other Pune bowlers could take a wicket, South African seamer Alfonso Thomas (2-0-14-0) and left-arm spinner Murali Kartik (4-0-26-0) were economical.

It was not a good evening though for left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra (3-0-34-0) nor seamer Wright (2-0-24-0).

The Pune Warriors recovered to 146 for two because of a brilliant century stand between Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa.

Pandey and Uthappa added 120 for the third wicket off 112 balls, finishing not out on 80 and 60 respectively. They’re both experienced IPL campaigners, so they didn’t let the shock of Pune being reduced to one for two in the second over get to them as they sensibly built a partnership before lashing out in the closing overs.

It was not the best performance in the field by the Delhi Daredevils as Pandey was dropped three times, Pietersen missing a sitter at long-on off Pawan Negi on 20, and Shahbaz Nadeem and Negi dropping return catches on 44 and 56. Their ground fielding was also not faultless.

Pandey used beautifully-timed, classical strokes with a straight bat, plus some innovation, to strike seven fours and three sixes in his fine innings of 80 not out off 56 balls.

Uthappa played within himself, allowing Pandey to accelerate, but his 60 not out off 58 balls included six fours and was a great supporting act.

The Warriors had elected to bat first, but made a disastrous start as Irfan Pathan’s second ball kept low to bowl Jesse Ryder for a duck and Saurav Ganguly (1) sliced Morne Morkel’s second ball to third man.

Morkel finished with 1-34 in his four overs, but Pathan, with one for 24, and left-arm spinners Negi and Nadeem, who each conceded just 22 runs in their four overs, did the most to restrict Pandey and Uthappa.

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