Jaipur, May 1: Captain Virender Sehwag set a new record in Twenty20 cricket by smashing a fifth successive half century and powered Delhi Daredevils to an emphatic six-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals here on Tuesday night.
It was yet another dominant performance by the IPL 5 table toppers in Game 43. This second win over the same opposition in three days has virtually guaranteed a place in the play-offs. Faced with a target of 142, Delhi eased home comfortably in the 16th over. Naman Ojha ended the proceedings with a six off Ashok Menaria. Delhi made 144/4 in 15.2 overs.
This was Rajasthan's fourth straight loss and they have slumped to sixth in the table with eight points from 10 games. Delhi are handsomely perched on the top with 16 points from 10 games. Delhi have extended their winning run to four games on the trot. Earlier they had a sequence of three consecutive wins. Their two defeats came against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors.
Sehwag raced to his 50 off 20 balls and continued to punish the Rajasthan bowlers. He departed for a magnificent 38-ball 73 when Delhi were just 11 away from success.
Kevin Pietersen, who played his last game this season, made an impressive 34-ball 36. Pietersen will head back to England to play a Test series against the West Indies.
Opener Mahela Jayawardene missed out after he was out for a duck in the first over.
Delhi's left-arm spinner Pawan Negi was adjudged Man-of-the-match for his four-wicket haul earlier.
Rajasthan Royals Innings Report
Left-arm spinner Pawan Negi took four wickets for 18 runs as Delhi Daredevils restricted Rajasthan Royals to 141/6 in 20 overs.
The 19-year-old orthodox spinner was impressive on the night. On a pitch good for batting, Negi scalped big wickets of Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Ajinkya Rahane and Ashok Menaria.
Barring captain Rahul Dravid and Rahane, the rest did not contribute much. The duo associated for 71 runs for the first wicket. However, once Rahane fell in the ninth over, Delhi bowlers emerged on top.
Dravid stood tall amid wickets tumbling at the other end. He completed his half century and was the sixth wicket to fall in the 19th over.
With Delhi boasting big batting stars, Rajasthan bowlers will have an uphill task to restrict them from reaching the target of 142.
Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and opted to bat first against Delhi Daredevils.
These two teams are facing again after that thrilling one-run victory for Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday. It was heartbreak for Rajasthan as Morne Morkel turned the game in the 19th over of the innings while chasing.
Kevon Cooper has a fracture in his knee and will be out for four to five weeks, says captain Dravid. Australia all-rounder Shane Watson returns in place of Cooper.
Delhi have also made one change, bringing in left-arm spinner Pawan Negi for Ajit Agarkar.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, Kevin Pietersen, Irfan Pathan, Morne Morkel, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Pawan Negi, Yogesh Nagar, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.
Umpires: Simon Taufel (Australia) and Johan Cloete (South Africa)
Third Umpire: S Ravi (India)
Match Referee: Raju Mukherjee (India)