Virender Sehwag’s first century in Twenty20 cricket single-handedly saw Delhi Daredevils to a four-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad on Thursday night
Delhi looked highly unlikely to pull off a much-needed win when they slumped to 25 for three in pursuit of Deccan’s 175 for five, as Sehwag scored just eight runs from his first 12 deliveries.
However he made the Chargers pay for two dropped catches, slamming six sixes and 13 fours as he went to three figures in 48 balls, with his second fifty having taken just 21 deliveries.
He was eventually caught behind off the bowling of Dale Steyn for a monstrous 119 from 56 balls, and left the field to a huge ovation from the crowd.
At that stage Irfan Pathan was the second highest scorer with 11 and 23 runs were still required for victory, but James Hopes hit an unbeaten 17 to see Delhi over the line with an over to spare.
Earlier JP Duminy showed Deccan what they’d been missing as he blasted 55 from just 31 balls on his return to the side, taking the Chargers to what looked like a winning total.
The South African batsman has been overlooked for the majority of Deccan’s struggling campaign as Australian Cameron White played in his place, but he hit form immediately with an innings that included four towering sixes.
Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara struck 44 from 36 deliveries to anchor the top order, but it was only when Duminy got going that Deccan took control of the game.
The home side were fortunate to have Duminy and Daniel Christian survive when both batsmen were caught off no-balls in the 15th over, with the errors proving costly to the Daredevils as both free hits were dispatched for boundaries.
Duminy was eventually run out attempting a second run in the 18th over of the innings, but Christian went on to finish unbeaten on 27 from 22 deliveries.
Nevertheless Sehwag trumped them both with undoubtedly the finest innings of IPL4, keeping his side in with an outside chance of qualifying for the playoffs.