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On April 23, 2011, Virender Sehwag and David Warner combined to record 146 runs for the opening partnership for Delhi Daredevils against Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2011. Delhi had entered the match with three losses in four. The duo struck an incredible 15 fours and seven sixes between them. Shrikant Shankar looks back at that wondrous stand.
Delhi Daredevils (DD) began their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2011 campaign in poor form. They had lost their first two matches against Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), before winning the third against Pune Warriors India (PWI). But they lost their fourth match to Deccan Chargers (DC). Their fifth match was against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi on April 23. KXIP captain Adam Gilchrist won the toss and sent Delhi into bat. It was a green track prepared to aide Delhi’s fortunes after a poor start to their season.
David Warner and Captain Virender Sehwag walked out to open the batting. The first few overs were key, and if the dynamic duo managed to negotiate it, a lot of runs were on the offer. Praveen Kumar began proceedings in Match 26 of IPL 2011. Warner was in no mood to mess around as he struck two back-to-back fours in the first over. The first was thumped past deep backward square-leg and the second was driven through extra-cover. Ryan Harris shared the new ball and he bowled with good pace. Harris bowled a good over and made his last ball jump up a little. Warner could only fend it off and a thick outside edge went away from the first slip fielder for a four towards third-man.
Gilchrist trusted Praveen for another over, but Sehwag did not want to be left behind. He too struck two fours on the trot. First, he flicked a straight delivery while in the air through mid-wicket. The second was cut in the air over point. Harris again bowled a good over till his last delivery. This time, Warner pulled a back of a length delivery outside off-stump over deep mid-wicket for the first six of the match. it was almost a competition between each other. Gilchrist probably thought of bowling out Praveen’s overs early rather than have him getting pummelled for runs later in the innings. Sehwag, though, did not want to waste any opportunity. He cracked three fours in the fifth over bowled by Praveen. The 50 had come up for Delhi in five overs.
The first change bowler was left-arm medium-fast bowler, Shalabh Srivastava. He bowled a length delivery and Warner smashed it down the ground over the sightscreen for a six. The next delivery swung in the air and took the edge off Warner’s bat and went past slip for a four. Abhishek Nayar came into bowl the seventh over. He strayed down the leg side and Warner guided in for a four through fine-leg. Piyush Chawla then replaced Srivastava. His first delivery was short and Warner pulled it through deep square-leg for a four. He bowled another short delivery, this time to Sehwag, and the batsman smashed a four through mid-wicket. Seeing the carnage, Gilchrist threw the ball to non-regular bowler Paul Valthaty to get a breakthrough. That didn’t stop Warner hitting a six over deep mid-wicket and then a four behind point.
The six brought up Warner’s half-century. Sehwag then hit a four through square-leg and then one over extra-cover off Chawla. After 10 overs, Delhi’s score was 115 for no loss. Sehwag clipped a bouncer from Srivastava on the leg-side and had to dive to complete his second run. He reached his half-century with those runs. He then got a top-edge to another bouncer and got a six over deep backward square-leg. The Kotla crowd were loving this. Things were really getting out of control as the run-rate was 11.63 after 11 overs. David Hussey was given the ball and Sehwag laid into his bowling. His first delivery was smashed over long-on for a six. Sehwag then got his front-foot out of the way and whacked the second delivery over deep mid-wicket for the second six.
Sehwag then made it three sixes in-a-row as he hit the third delivery over deep square-leg. He then went for the fourth, but got a thick inside edge and Dinesh Karthik took the catch at mid-wicket. Sehwag departed after a blitzkrieg of an innings. He scored 77 runs off only 35 deliveries which included eight fours and four sixes. The 146-run opening partnership ended in 11.4 overs. The run-rate was 12.51.
What happened next
Warner too managed to score 77. He took 48 deliveries to get there and struck seven fours and four sixes. Venugopal Rao (28 not out off 15 deliveries) and Naman Ojha (19 not out off eight deliveries) guided DD to a mammoth 231 for four in 20 overs. Gilchrist scored 42 off 33 and Shaun Marsh struck a 46-ball 95 for Punjab. Marsh scored nine fours and six sixes. But the 232-run target proved too much as Punjab managed to score 202 for six in their 20 overs. Delhi beat Punjab by 29 runs. Warner was adjudged as the Man of the Match.
It didn’t change their dwindling fortunes as they finished 10th and last in the 2011 seasons with only four wins. Punjab missed out on the play-off spots by two points as they finished fifth. This loss could have been the difference, but their net run-rate was inferior to that of Kolkata Knight Riders who finished fourth.
Delhi Daredevils 231 for 4 in 20 overs (David Warner 77, Virender Sehwag 77) beat Kings XI Punjab 202 for 6 in 20 overs (Adam Gilchrist 42, Shaun Marsh 95) by 29 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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