Delhis openers Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene both enjoyed the prospect of facing the maximum deliveries in this shortest format of the game,scoring fifties each in Delhis 37-run win over Mumbai Indians.
Unsurprisingly, the Delhi skipper outscored his opening partner,with his 73 off 39 matching Jayawardenes 55 off 42 boundary for boundary (eight each),but containing four sixes more. Kevin Pietersen,coming in at one down,made the third half-century of the innings as Delhi treated a 39,750-strong crowd at Ferozeshah Kotla to a big win,their second over Mumbai in the edition.
Chasing Delhis 207/5,Aiden Blizzard,opening the innings in place of the unwell James Franklin,went without scoring while Sachin Tendulkar got out for 7. Soon,Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 12 as Mumbai gave away wickets just as easily they gave away runs with the ball. Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayadu pulled the side back with a 96-run partnership for the fourth wicket,but Mumbai couldnt add to the contribution at the start as well as in the end.
Mumbai were in the hunt with Rayudu and Karthik in the middle with the score reading 88/3 in the 10th over. Karthik fell to a near-perfect yorker from Ajit Agarkar for 40,but Rayadu kept going,hitting consecutive sixes off Shahbaz Nadeem to complete his half-century in just 39 balls. Rayudu fell for 62 to the same bowler and when Kieron Pollard fell next ball there was no coming back for Mumbai,and the side eventually finished at 170 for 9.
The record opening partnership between Sehwag and Jayawardene the two added 135 runs in 13.1 overs started cautiously. Sehwag resisted going after the ball when faced with Lasith Malingas accurate first over. The pair soon fed on RP Singhs leg side offerings to get going and the innings gained momentum. Sehwag was lucky when on 40,Dinesh Karthik,blinded by the batsman,missed out on a stumping chance and the batsman went on to complete his half-century from 30 balls with five boundaries and two sixes. Jayawardene wasnt too far behind in reaching his 50,his first significant contribution from Delhi this season.
The pair were helped by the exclusion of the experienced Munaf Patel and Pragyan Ojha,the latter for the second straight game. Instead Jharkhand medium-pacer Rahul Shukla was handed his debut for the big game,who went for 31 in his three overs. Kieron Pollard was carted for 23 runs in his first over as Sehwag went after him but the West Indian injured his shoulder while attempting a catch and Harbhajan was forced to resort to Robin Peterson not his preferred choice of bowler in the death overs.
The Pietersen-Peterson match-up yielded 23 runs from 13 balls,with two boundaries and two sixes coming off the South Africans last over,spoiling his figuresthat had looked glossy at 3-0-17-3. Pietersen scored a blistering unbeaten 50 from just 26 balls to ensure Delhi didnt lose their way after the fall of the openers. As it eventually panned out,Pietersens half-century was relegated to the shadows something that doesnt happen too often.