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Sehwag stars in eight-wicket romp over Pune

PUNE: For a while, Team Pune showed some fight against Delhi at the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium on Tuesday evening. An unbeaten 145-run partnership for the third wicket between Manish Pandey (80*) and Robin Uthappa (61*) converted a modest total into a seemingly challenging one.

A suicidal run out jolted Delhi in their 147-run chase. But the visitors had skipper Virender Sehwag (87) and Kevin Pietersen (27). A nearly risk-free partnership of 89 runs for the second wicket eventually shut Pune out. It also handed the Sourav Ganguly-led side their first defeat at home.

The eight-wicket victory helped Delhi retain their position at the top of the IPL table. Delhi have played seven games and have 10 points in their kitty. Pune, who have eight points from eight games, held on to the fourth spot.

The aggression Pietersen and Sehwag showed in the run-chase left an otherwise attacking Pune almost defenceless. Skipper Sehwag kept the big strokes away as long as he could rein himself in but that did not deter him from scoring boundaries at will. After running his opening partner Mahela Jayawardene (18) out, Sehwag responded with two fours off Pune pacer Ashish Nehra in the next over.

The 33-year-old Delhi dasher smashed the short deliveries through square leg while Pietersen found his timing as soon as he arrived. Sehwag did not even spare Sourav, as he sliced and smashed a couple of fours off the former India skipper. Dada introduced medium pacer Luke Wright, who replaced Angelo Matthews, but the Englishman was also taken to the cleaners by Sehwag.

In the end, Delhi had just too much power for a ragged Pune unit. That Pune even set the visitors a reasonable chase was down to the heroics of Pandey and Uthappa. The Karnataka duo breathed life into a stuttering innings after the hosts had lost Jesse Ryder (0) and skipper Ganguly (1) very early.

Delhi were well served by their left-arm spinners, Pawan Negi and Shahbaz Nadeem, who kept Pandey and Uthappa in check.

But an onslaught in the last five overs (53 runs scored) took Pune to a competitive tally.

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Posted by on Apr 25 2012. Filed under Cricket News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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