Felix Austin | cricket20
Virender Sehwag single handedly kept the Delhi DareDevils hopes of reaching the play offs alive after he scored an astonishing century which sunk the Deccan Chargers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
With wickets falling around him the DareDevils skipper played one of the greatest innings ever seen in the Indian Premier League to steer the visitors to a 4 wicket victory.
Having been dropped twice Sehwag (119) smashed 13 fours and 6 sixes during an astonishing 56 ball innings which saw him race to 100 in just 48 deliveries to win the game for the DareDevils.
The DareDevils run chase got off to a dramatic start when Dale Steyn struck with just the 2nd delivery of the innings to remove Aaron Finch (0) who edged a simple catch to Christian in the slips.
Naman Ojha (7) and Venugopal Rao (3) quickly followed after Ishant Sharma struck twice to leave the DareDevils 25-3 after just 5.4 in a game they needed to win in order to keep their hopes of reaching the play offs alive.
With the pressure mounting Virender Sehwag launched an astonishing blitz which saw him score 41 runs in just over 2 overs to over take Sachin Tendulkar as the tournaments leading run scorer.
The DareDevils launched his blitzkrieg in the 7th over when Ishan Malhorta’s first over in thei years tournament was dispatched for 23 including back to back sixes off the first two deliveries.
Sehwag followed this up with two more boundaries in the next over before he reached his half century with a mammoth six which went flying over the straight boundary off the bowling of Amit Mishra.
After starting off slowly Sehwag reached 50 from just 27 balls during an amazing 61 run partnership with Travis Birt which saw the Aussies score just 4 runs before he was bowled by Daniel Christian.
Having survived two dropped catches Sehwag raced toward the century mark dispatching Mishra for three boundaries and two sixes as he singled out the spinner who conceded 53 runs from his 4 overs.
Sehwag reached the century mark for the first ever time in the IPL with two quickly taken runs at the start of the 15th over; the DareDevils skipper celebrated by dispatching Bharat Chipli for consecutive sixes from the next two deliveries.
With the DareDevils cruising towards victory Steyn struck back to remove Sehwag in the 17th over after the skipper edged a delivery through to Kumar Sanhakkara to leave the visitors needing another 23 runs from 22 balls.
Despite the loss of Sehwag and quickly Irfan Pathan quickly after the DareDevils held their nerve to record a thrilling 4 wicket victory thanks to James hopes cameo of 17.
Before Sehwag’s fireworks JP Duminy and Daniel Christian shared a vital 4th wicket stand of 70 to help the Chargers post a total of 175-5 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
The pair came together in the 13th over and made Yogesh Nagar pay dearly for dismissing the pair off front foot no balls in the 15th to give the Chargers the momentum going into the DareDevils run chase.
With the innings edging towards a tense finish, Nagar ruined his side’s hopes by gifting Duminy and Christian an extra life each from the only over he bowled in the match which was dispatched for 20 runs.
Duminy (54) playing in place of Cameron White led the way with a quick fire half century which included 2 fours and 4 sixes before he was run out in the 18th over.
Bharat Chipli (1) quickly followed but Christian (27) remained at the crease to help the Chargers set the DareDevils a tricky run chase as both sides battle to keep their play off hopes alive.
Shikhar Dhawan and Kumar Sangakkara got the Chargers innings off to a good start despite the early departure of opener Dwaraka Ravi Teja (9) in the 3rd over.
The pair built a 2nd wicket partnership of 39 after Ravi Teja top edged a short delivery from Aavishkar Salvi through to wicket keeper Naman Ojha.
Dhawan led the partnership scoring 29 runs before he holed out to Salvi at mid on to give Ajit Agarkar the break through at the end of the 9th over as the Chargers slipped to 58-2.
With his partner gone Sangakkara went on the offensive dispatching Venugopal Rao for consecutive boundaries in the 11th over to give the home side the advantage.
The course of the game changed once again when James Hopes struck to deny Sangakkara a well deserved half century when the Chargers skipper edged a simple catch to Virender Sehwag in the covers.
With the tension mounting the Chargers took control of the game thanks to Duminy and Christian who took advantage of their amazing let offs in Nagar’s over of madness to give the home side the upper hand.
The resulting free hits cost the DareDevils 10 runs in an over which Nagar conceded 20 runs to put the Chargers in control once more.