Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2012, Jaipur May 1, 2012

Negi, Sehwag give Delhi fourth straight win


Delhi Daredevils 144 for 4 (Sehwag 73) beat Rajasthan Royals 141 for 6 (Dravid 57, Negi 4-18) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A game-changing spell from left-arm spinner Pawan Negi followed by a fifth consecutive half-century from Virender Sehwag overwhelmed Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur and helped Delhi Daredevils strengthen their hold on the No. 1 position. The six-wicket victory, achieved with 28 balls to spare, was Daredevils' fourth consecutive win this season and gave them 16 points after ten games, while Kolkata Knight Riders are second with 13 after ten. One more win in six remaining games will assure Daredevils a place in the playoffs.

The previous game between these sides, two days ago at the Kotla, had been decided by a one-run margin, with Daredevils stealing victory from a dire situation. Royals looked like stretching Daredevils today as well, until Negi began to spin through the top order. After replacing Ajit Agarkar in Daredevils' XI, Negi began his spell when Royals were 56 for 0 in six overs. By the time he finished they had slumped to 95 for 5 after 13, and were eventually restricted to 141.

Negi was brought into the attack after the fielding restrictions were lifted and went for only six in his first over. In his next, after bowling two dot balls, he induced in Ajinkya Rahane the need to attempt the unorthodox, a reverse swat that landed in Virender Sehwag's hands at point. Until then Rahane had helped Royals score at about ten an over with mostly conventional yet extremely potent strokes. Rajasthan were 71 for 1.

Shane Watson, playing his first game this season in place of the injured Kevon Cooper, did not take long to unfurl a trademark heave against the other left-arm spinner, Shahbaz Nadeem, depositing the ball over deep midwicket. When he exhibited similar intent against Negi, he missed and lost off stump. In his final over, Negi had Brad Hodge caught cutting to point and Ashok Menaria holing out to long-on to finish with 4 for 18. Before that brace of wickets another in-form Royals batsman, Owais Shah, had been caught behind, top-edging a pull off Umesh Yadav. Royals had lost 5 for 24.

Through all this, Rahul Dravid stood firm. He had contributed a fair share to the early momentum, then watched the advantage fritter away, and took it upon himself to bat through the innings. In the 17th over, he drove Morne Morkel inside out to bring up a half-century off 35 balls. In the penultimate over, though, Dravid's slog across the line resulted in the ball going off the inside edge on to his leg and then on to hit the off stump.

Royals' hopes of defending 141 surged when Mahela Jayawardene was lbw without scoring in the first over. They were short lived, though, as Sehwag launched a withering assault. He hit five of his first six balls for four and after 17 deliveries that count was up to nine. When the fielding restrictions were over, Daredevils had raced to 61 for 1 and their momentum did not abate.

In the eighth over, Sehwag used his bat like a ramp to launch Pankaj Singh over the third-man boundary. The shot made him the only batsman with five consecutive Twenty20 half-centuries, this one taking only 20 deliveries. With Sehwag ripping apart Royals, Pietersen was overshadowed in his final innings this season during a partnership of 96 for the second wicket. Daredevils will miss Pietersen's consistency at No. 3, but with Sehwag in some of the best form the format has known, Daredevils' place in the playoffs is virtually sealed.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    Sehwag is Unique.!!!!

  • amit on May 2, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    lot's of people saying flat track bully about sehwag oo dear i want to ask why only he making runs where is your other fav players??

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    Sehwag is a great batsman in all forms of the game. He is the first Indian to score a triple century in a test. On his debut hit a 100 in South Africa. Another 300 against South Africa. He is currently the highest ODI scorer (219). Now in T20 another world record of five consecutive fifties. Ian Chappell says Sehwag is the modern day Bradman. Ravi Shastri, Rameez Raja and Yuvraj Singh compared Viru Sehwag with Viv Richards. Still why all these un-nesessary doubts. Best wishes to Sehwag for more success...

  • BALAJI on May 2, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    East or west Delhi is the best

  • Jayaesh on May 2, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    I agree with most of the views posted by@Sai Manak Varadharajan,but i disagree with views of @ Sunil Kabra,i feel Ashok Maneria is one of the more talented Indian youngster going around,he has got a very good record in Ranji trophy and replacing him with someone like Faiuz Fazal who is not 1/4th as talented as him and has just one score above 50 in domestic cricket,as for Botha he can be a good mentor but there are many spinners like him in India.As for your comments regarding Sehwag being a flat track bully nothing can be further from the truth,even if he is a flat track bully why many other batters seem incapable of bullying !!

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    What is flat-track ? A track which is suitable for batsmen "AND SPINNERS". A batsman who score 100 doesn't get appreciated coz it was a flat-track. But a bowler who gets 5 wickets haul on BOUNCY and FAST we call them "Wow ! What a bowler" ... Makes sense :) !! But the same bowler gets hammered in sub-continent.

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Rahane is a flat-track bully. He has the maximum runs this season so far. So obviously he is more flat-track specialist than Sehwag.

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @ Sunil Kabra: Okay he is a flat track bully but How many international level players have Rajasthan produced ? Even Rahane is from Mumbai. :) Just because RR is losing you are taking out your frustration on other players. Not Good ! Remember his Knock of 195 against the likes of Lee, McGrath, Warne that too in Australia and that too when Steve Waugh was the captain ? DD won this match NOT because of Viru but because of superb bowling by Negi. Rise above Hate, dude !

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    India's WC 2011 win was of NO VALUE. Viru, Gauti, Sachin and Yuvi all batted brilliantly but on FLAT TRACK. So, that's it. Makes sense na guys ? :)

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    http://iplt20.com/stats/2012/most-runs performance of indian players and their strike rates. MS Dhoni's strike rate is below 120 which is not at all good for T20. RR lost the match because of fragile middle order. They have to drop Shah or Hodge and bring Chandimal instead

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