Marginally more tossed up than the previous delivery,Deccan Chargers opening bowler Shikhar Dhawan invited Virender Sehwag to go for his second expansive stroke in as many balls bowled in the innings. Sehwag bit and attempted an extravagant hoick,only managing to splice the ball down Cameron Whites throat. Chasing a daunting 188 for victory,the Dhawan-White tag-team threatened to make this top versus bottom clash a very one-sided,against both logic and odds,match.
In the first innings,Dhawan did what he has been doing all season long top-score for his miserably out-of-form side. Batting alongside White,who scored 65,the partnership measured 126 runs for the third wicket. Batting momentum rarely ever bleeds over into the fielding innings,but in Dhawan and Whites case,it seemed to defy the theory. Dhawan nearly dismissed David Warner to make it two in two for Chargers. The Aussie opener mistimed a drive due to the flight and under-edged a stroke that barely missed his stumps to the boundary.
Warner claimed that it came off his bat,but umpire Johan Cloete signalled four byes. This was perhaps the moment when he decided to middle every single ball from there on. He did so with the stand-out innings of this entire season,and during his unbeaten 109 that followed,the Delhi Daredevils reclaimed the top-spot in a canter. But a lot more importantly,they looked more potent a side than they ever did during any other game this edition.
Warner scored at a strike rate of 201,and belted out the highest score of this IPL. During his 54-ball essay,he led Naman Ojha (64*) to a 189-run partnership the highest ever for the second wicket,the highest for the Daredevils for any wicket,the highest this season,and the second-highest over all. In the process,Delhi made a real mockery of the large target,scoring 193 runs with nine wickets and 20 balls to spare. It was the most lopsided high-scoring game in IPLs history.
A ball after the byes were given,Warner cut Dhawan with power through point for four,before driving him through covers for the same result. The fours soon got boring for the Sydneysider,and he started trading in sixes. Although he bludgeoned Ashish Reddy over covers for a humongous one,Warner fancied the square-leg region more,instantly belting one through his favoured area next ball. In all,he would hit seven sixes,six of them littered somewhere in the stands over square-leg.
With nowhere else to run or turn,Deccan skipper Kumar Sangakkara tossed the ball to Dhawan in the ninth over and hoped that the man-of-the-previous-hour could make the difference. He ended with figures of 1/27 from two,to end a very bittersweet day.
Brief scores: DC 187/4 (S Dhawan 84,C White 65; V Aaron 2/30); DD 193/1(D Warner 109*,N Ojha 64*)