Pune: The disaster management done by Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa for the third wicket went in vain as Sehwag single-handedly demolished the Pune bowling attack to register an 8-wicket win.
On the previous occasion Viru was equally brutal but he got out after scoring 57 runs from 32 balls and Pune went on to win the match by 20 runs. But in front of the Pune crowd, Sehwag tore Pune bowling attack into pieces as Ganguly-led Warriors looked helpless to his onslaught.
Even before the match started, it was predicted that miffed with the last match’s result, the Delhi Daredevils would come with all guns blazing and so they did as Pune lost two early wickets. While the dangerous Ryder was bowled as tried to push a length delivery from Pathan, skipper Ganguly shattered the hopes of his fans as he played a poor shot towards third-man and perished. After two huge blows, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey added 145 runs for the third wicket and played some superb strokes during the record partnership.
Manish Pandey in particular who was sent to open the innings with Ryder made the most of the opportunity as he reminded of his supreme form while he used to play for RCB. He began his innings on a careful note and then went on to hit his trademark effortless boundaries. His partner Uthappa did not get carried away, rather he was sensible enough to keep the partnership going.
At the end of 10 overs, Pune had scored just 50 runs and both the batsmen changed gears from the 13th over bowled by Umesh Yadav. Pandey’s inning however wasn’t flawless as he was dropped thrice off easy chances by Delhi. Pandey batted through the innings as he remained unbeaten on 80 runs from just 56 balls. Pune managed to score 146 runs at the end of 20 overs and they looked 20 run short of a formidable chase for Delhi.
The only relief for Pune was Mahela’s run-out and Pietersen’s wicket, who was caught at mid-on. The rest of the bowlers could do nothing to stop Sehwag who smashed 87 runs from just 48 balls. Ganguly could not repeat his magic with the ball as he brought himself into the attack in the seventh over and did not turn over again as it produced 12 runs.
Delhi Daredevils are deservedly the table-toppers now and the other teams will have to deliver their best to replace them from the numero uno spot.