Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2011, Kochi April 30, 2011

Delhi rout Kochi after Sehwag masterclass

20

Delhi Daredevils 157 for 7 (Sehwag 80, Sreesanth 2-10) beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala 119 (Jadeja 31, M Morkel 3-18) by 38 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Virender Sehwag showcased his class on a tricky Nehru Stadium surface on which numerous deliveries hardly got up above ankle height. Sehwag took his time before exploding in the end to lift Delhi Daredevils to 157, a score that proved beyond Kochi Tuskers Kerala and breathed some life in to Delhi's doddering campaign. In a knock that must surely go down as one of the best IPL innings, Sehwag smashed 49 off his last 15 deliveries to surge to 80 off 47, on a wicket where even survival was an achievement for batsmen.

Smarting from the big defeat against Deccan Chargers on a green-tinged home pitch, Kochi went to the opposite spectrum of surface preparation, dishing out a dry and loose wicket on which the ball kept alarmingly low right from the start. But they ran in to a determined Sehwag who, quickly realising that his usual cavalier style was not going to work, changed his approach, playing as safely as a Sehwag can.

The surface had come under scrutiny at the toss when Sehwag voiced doubts over it, saying the top surface was coming loose when someone walked on the wicket. Right away, the first ball from Sreesanth, in the second over, hardly got above David Warner's shin, and disturbed his off stump as he was caught clueless on the back foot. The fourth ball just rolled along the ground after pitching on a length, catching Naman Ojha on the boot in front of leg stump as Sehwag watched incredulously from the non-striker's end.

Delhi's innings was built around a 56-run stand between Yogesh Nagar and Sehwag after Venugopal Rao fell to leave them at 35 for 3 in the seventh over. The extent to which Sehwag reined himself in was evident when Delhi went without a boundary for 38 balls. It was Nagar who ended the drought when he launched R Vinay Kumar past extra cover in the 12th over.

Sehwag, who was on a scarcely believable 31 off 32, broke free in the next over, slamming Ravindra Jadeja for consecutive sixes over long-off and deep midwicket. On a pitch where batsmen were finding it difficult to hang in, Sehwag toyed with the bowling. The shots that had been put away came out in a torrent of calculated hitting. It rained pulls, whips, inside-out lofts, late cuts on a hapless Kochi attack. Vinay Kumar disappeared for 15 in the 15th over, B Akhil was scattered for 18 in the next.

Sehwag's complete control over his craft was on display against Ramesh Powar. Even as the offspinner tossed the ball up, Sehwag found time to dance down the track and lift him effortlessly against the turn over extra cover. His dismissal in the next over off Vinay was also characteristic, caught at deep extra cover on the edge of the rope, going inside out with three men in front of square on the off side boundary. But his charge lifted Delhi to 157, after they had been 62 for 3 in the 13th over.

Shell-shocked Kochi's only chance on the treacherous wicket was if their top order came good, but it wasn't to be. The pitch didn't play a major role in the first two dismissals though. IPL debutant Michael Klinger flicked Morne Morkel only for Roelof van der Merwe, in for the injured James Hopes, to pull off a blinder at square leg. Two deliveries later, Brendon McCullum decided that the only way to tackle the unpredictable surface was the blind charge, and lost his middle stump to Irfan Pathan.

Parthiv Patel found just how difficult the track was, as a back-of-a-length Pathan delivery barely rose a foot, easily going under his defensive push and disturbing off stump. As a disgusted Parthiv walked off in a volley of expletives, it was left to Kochi's two most-experienced batsmen, Mahela Jayawardene and Brad Hodge, to salvage the chase from 28 for 3.

Jayawardene hung around for a while but it was always going to be difficult to get more than eight an over on such a wicket. In trying to whip Ajit Agarkar over midwicket, he spooned a tame catch to Sehwag when on 18. Hodge could not capitalise on a dropped chance by Pathan on 15 and his dismissal by Morne Morkel in the 14th over effectively ended Kochi's chances though a few hits from Ravindra Jadeja reduced the margin of defeat.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • whenasked on May 1, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Kochi Team Owners does not want to play in Kochi.To make case strong, all this drama of bad pitches!! OR Mahela is making sure that Kochi is out from IPL 2011 by the time he should be in Srilanka for England tour.

    Time for a real Kerala team, owned & operated by a trust under Kerala Cricket Board. Businesses in Kerala can pitch in to raise capital.

    We need a strong team for next IPL. Not sure if Kochi Tuskers will exist!!

  • Percy_Fender on May 1, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    I am surprised that nothing much at all has been written about Irfan Pathan' resurgence in the last two games. I have seen him from the time he made his debut in Australia in 2003-2004 and then in Pakistan in 2004 when he and Balaji just walked over Pakistan who in Shabbir and Gul seemed to be having a better pace attack. I have also followed Irfan's downward curve when he lost his pace and controlled swing as well. I am happy to say that he has nearly got the swing part and is bowling consistently in the early 130kmphs. I am sure that as he gets fitter, he will be the bowler he was. It is also good to see his confidence levels. Sehwag as captain does seem to have made a difference. If he gets faster, I think he will be a quite a handful in England in July. Having seen the bowling of Ishant Sharma,and R P Singh in the latest IPL, I think the Indian bowling attack with Zaheer as the spearhead looks pretty effective.

  • BULTY on May 1, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    With matches being played on the same ground at short intervals, the pitches are going to be slow, under prepared & so on. The pitch at JN Stadium for this match where even a local club level match should not be played. For once Mahela found the going tough, though he found success initially with two quick wickets. Thereafter it was his counterpart, the mercurial Sehwag to call the shots and how magnificently he did, shows in the way he wound the tottering Delhi innings around him and richly deserved a century & the orange cap for that. The Kochi batsmen found that batting was not going to be easy and aided by some recklessly batting by Brendon, they meekly surrendered to Delhi. Delhi have found the much needed impetus to rediscover the winning ways & surge upwards in the points table. Keep it up Delhi.

  • Sinhabahu on May 1, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    I have to say that Sehwag's innings was one of the best in the entire T20 format, not just in the IPL. What sublime concentration, application and skill! Not for the first time, he showed everyone how it's done.

  • dummy4fb on May 1, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Delhi Delhi Delhi ....!!!! Viru Viru Viru Viru Viru Viru ...!!! Come ON still V has Chance.... murder DELHI again @ delhi kotla........

  • dummy4fb on April 30, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Wht a stupid pitch it ws..ws der any pitch der...i cud see only cracks,.....muddy wickt...hpe the groundstaff does do smthn immeadtly 2 arrest dis situation....oder teams have made der home turf like a fortress nd kochi is doin juz de oppste..

  • dummy4fb on April 30, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    oh i thought sanga played the best innings of ipl especialy in a seming condition guess what our own viru showed his brilliance best innings so far in ipl...becoz the shots he played in this condition was just awesome...ktk is going realy down in both matches we needed mahela to win us...but he didnt....kochi can win with everybody contributing they dont hav a match winner that every team can boast of..

  • time2goback2dbasics on April 30, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    feeling good now,waiting for long time

  • PradeepR on April 30, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    Only Sehwag and Mahela have the class to bat on such a wicket. Sehwag did and Delhi won the match.

  • MeowCat on April 30, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    This match was sooo onesided that i got actually..bored! The crowd support at Kochi non-existent,there is NOTHING electric in there ,you cant feel any sort of pressure downing on the homeside

    -Also,Micron@ David warner was 4th in line for the orange cap if he didnt get bowled all the time for the last 3 games for less than 10.Now he dropped heavily

  • No featured comments at the moment.