Delhi eyeing an encore from Sehwag to upset Mumbai

Updated: May 07, 2011, 16:22 PM IST

Mumbai: Their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs kept alive by a magnificent Virender Sehwag, Delhi Daredevils would be keenly looking forward to an encore from their skipper when they take on table toppers Mumbai Indians in a must-win IPL match.

Chasing a stiff 176-run target, Sehwag single-handedly demolished the opposition attack with a blistering 56-ball 119-run knock that included 13 fours and six sixes to guide Delhi to a four-wicket win over Deccan Chargers last night.

The swashbuckler turned the match around and pulled his team from the brink after the Daredevils had slid to 25 for three at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

And Daredevils would be hoping for an encore from their skipper when they take on mighty Mumbai Indians.

Sehwag`s pyrotechnics against Deccan not only earned his side a fantastic come-from-behind win, but also earned him the Orange Cap from his Mumbai counterpart Sachin Tendulkar by boosting his tally of runs to a highly impressive 422.

But Tendulkar (351 runs) would be eager to snatch it back from Sehwag`s head when the game gets underway at the Wankhede Stadium.

Tendulkar`s mini battle for top honours with Sehwag would provide yet another fascinating fa?ade in the high-octane clash in front of an expected packed gathering under lights.

Sehwag remains central to Delhi`s slim hopes of earning one of the four berths on offer for the play-offs in the T20 league.

The Delhi think tank benched regular opener David Warner yesterday, but with Aaron Finch misfiring yet again, the diminutive Australian is expected to take his place back in the playing eleven tomorrow.

It`s imperative that Sehwag and Warner (254 runs from nine games) fire in unison against the top-class Mumbai attack led by Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh to provide Delhi any chances of an upset victory.

The middle-order, however, has not clicked to the expected levels for Delhi, with the likes of Y Venugopal Rao, Naman Ojha and Irfan Pathan blazing a trail only in fits and starts.

By virtue of their victory over Deccan, the Daredevils now occupy the eighth position in the 10-team table with eight points, and a defeat against Mumbai would almost certainly knock them out of contention for the next stage of the tournament commencing May 24.

Going into the match, Delhi would like to forget their previous tie at home against Mumbai when Sehwag was run-out for 19 and they were eventually got shot down for a paltry 95 in less than 18 overs.

The eight-wicket defeat set off their campaign on the wrong note especially at their fortress - Feroz Shah Kotla - where they have tasted defeats in all but one out of six matches this season.

PTI