Sehwag-storm blows away Bangalore’s challenge
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 20th May 2008
Today’s match between the Delhi DareDevils and the Bangalore Royal Challengers was an important one for the former, simply because a loss in this match would have made the task very stiff for them. From the Royal Challengers’ perspective, they had an outside mathematical chance of still qualifying for the semi-final, but on a more realistic basis, would have loved to win this for their captain, Rahul Dravid.
Sehwag won the toss and expectedly decided to field first on a slow and dual natured pitch. And as has been the problem with the Challengers’ batting thus far, their opener, Bharat Chipli did not last too long. Kallis and debutant – and under-19 wicket keeper – Sreevats Goswami added some useful runs before Kallis departed for 25. Dravid too did not last long, but Goswami went on to complete his half century, the youngest to achieve this feat in this season of IPL. However, the quick fall of wickets at the other end saw the Challengers getting restricted to only 130/7 at the end of the penultimate over. It was only some tactical mistakes by Sehwag which saw Rajat Bhatia bowl the last over of the inning that allowed Misbah-ul-Haq score 24 off the over and get the Challengers to a respectable 154/7. Misbah remained unbeaten on 47 that came off 25 deliveries.
Delhi’s reply was all about Sehwag. It was Gautam Gambhir who started the rain of runs, and in the process became the first batsman to reach the 500 run mark in the IPL, but once his skipper took over, there was no looking back. If Steyn went for 14 off his two, then Zaheer went for 27! Praveen Kumar’s entry did nothing to cool down the now-savage Sehwag, who tore him apart for 33 runs off his first two overs, before getting him out! At 90/1 in 7 overs, it would have seemed that the match was all over bar the shouting, but some quick wickets following the introduction of Anil Kumble and B. Akhil reduced the scoring rate to trickle. Dilshan, de Villiers and Karthik all left in succession, and at 22 needed off 4 overs, it could have been anybody’s game.
Fortunately, Maharoof and Shikhar Dhawan got together to safely guide their side through to a much needed victory, with five wickets and 10 legitimate deliveries to spare! Sreevats Goswami was named the Man-of-the-Match for his awesome knock of fifty and a catch, a stumping and a run-out behind the stumps.