Delhi 240 for 4 (Gambhir 93*, Sehwag 66) trail Maharashtra 330 (Gugale 174, Khurana 55, Narwal 3-37) by 90 runs

The new-ball pair of Sumit Narwal and Parvinder Awana took no time to dismiss the Maharashtra tail in the morning. Captain Gautam Gambhir then ground it for nearly six hours to end the day unbeaten on 93. Yet, the star of Delhi's dominant performance on the second day of their Group B clash against Maharashtra was Virender Sehwag.

Batting at his favoured No 4 position, Sehwag made 66 in just over two hours in trademark fashion, entertaining easily the biggest crowd for a non-IPL game at the Maharashtra Cricket Association ground on the outskirts of Pune.

When Sehwag came into bat 16 minutes before tea, Delhi were precariously placed at 41 for 2. Though Gambhir was looking solid, any other new batsman would have preferred to see the session out. Not Sehwag.

The first ball he faced from Domnic Joseph, who was extracting bounce from the surface, Sehwag timed through covers to get going in style. Maharashtra then placed a sweeper cover for the entire duration of Sehwag's innings.

Samad Fallah, the leader of Maharashtra's pace attack, is one of the most vocal bowlers on the domestic circuit. Sehwag not only got involved in banter with the left-arm bowler but also dismayed him by standing more than a foot outside the crease in the last over before the break.

As the crowd swelled during lunch, all those who had made the effort to make it to the stadium - not the easiest in terms of accessibility - were treated to a Sehwag and Gambhir show. While the captain laid the anchor, Sehwag went after anything short. Until Sehwag was adjudged lbw off Chirag Khurana nine minutes before tea, Maharashtra preferred an in-and-out field for him - with at least three fielders on the boundary.

The field made it easier for Sehwag to find gaps. Though his innings contained only seven boundaries, there were plenty of twos. The only false stroke he played was when a cut shot against Fallah flew wide of a lunging Kedar Jadhav at first slip.

Just as Sehwag looked set for a century, he was given lbw when offspinner Khurana got one to hold its line. While Sehwag was stunned to see the finger raised, the crowd turned into silent for a moment, before giving the batsman a rousing farewell.

Nine minutes later, Fallah got Mithun Manhas with the ball of the day, one that pitched outside off and came in sharply to thud into off-stump after Manhas had shouldered arms. Gambhir and Rajat Bhatia then played sensibly for an unbroken 91-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

There were hardly any cheers for all these achievements, though. Most of the spectators had disappeared following Sehwag's dismissal. At the end of the first day's play, the MCA officials had needed a couple of their strongest members of the dog squad - a unique security feature in Indian sport - to disperse the crowd. On the second day, there was no such need.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo