Jaipur: Virender Sehwag once again showed why he is considered to be the most dangerous batsman in world cricket, he has been in tremendous form and struck his fifth consecutive half-century to help Delhi Daredevils breeze past Rajasthan Royals by six wickets in the Indian Premier League here Tuesday.
Daredevils captain Sehwag played a breathtaking knock of 73 off 38 balls, ensuring his team overcomes the 142-run target in 15.2 overs. With the scintillating knock, he also became the first batsman to score five consecutive half centuries in T20 cricket.
Kevin Pietersen made 36 in his last game for the Delhi franchise while left-arm spinner Pawan Negi (4/18) did the job with the balls in the Royals' innings which ended at 141 for six in 20 overs.
Sehwag's blinder brought Daredevils' fourth win a row and they have now extended their lead at the top of the table to 16 points from 10 matches. It was a fourth straight loss for Royals', who are sixth in the standings with eight points from 10 games.
The explosive opener once again toyed with the opposition bowling attack, bludgeoning 12 boundaries and a six. The lone maximum Sehwag hit was his trademark uppercut which also brought his fifty.
Sehwag's opening partner Mahela Jayawardene (0) was dismissed in the first over but that joy was shortlived for the Royals.
Sehwag and Pietersen shared 96 runs for the second wicket and when the latter departed, Daredevils needed just 46 off 60 balls.
Earlier, Royals made a mess of a great start provided by Rahul Dravid (57) and Ajinkya Rahane (42).
Dravid ran out of partners as the home team was reduced to 95 for five in 13 overs after the opening pair collected 71 runs in 8.4 overs.
Rahul Dravid b Morkel 57
Ajinkya Rahane c Sehwag b Negi 42
Shane Watson b Negi 8
Owais Shah c Ojha b Yadav 1
Brad Hodge c Sehwag b Negi 1
Ashok Menaria c Pietersen b Negi 2
Shreevats Goswami not out 18
Ankeet Chavan not out 7
Extras: (lb 2, w 3) 5
Total: (6 wickets; 20 overs) 141
Fall of wickets: 1-71 (Rahane, 8.4 overs), 2-87 (Watson, 10.5), 3-90 (Shah, 11.4), 4-93 (Hodge, 12.2), 5-95 (Menaria, 12.6), 6-128 (Dravid, 18.1)
Irfan Pathan 2-0-22-0
Umesh Yadav 4-0-28-1
Morne Morkel 4-0-23-1
Shahbaz Nadeem 4-0-33-0
Pawan Negi 4-0-18-4
Virender Sehwag 2-0-15-0
Delhi Daredevils innings:
Mahela Jayawardene lbw b Chavan 0
Virender Sehwag c Dravid b Hogg 73
Kevin Pietersen c Shah b Watson 36
Ross Taylor c Goswami b Hogg 6
Yogesh Nagar not out 9
Naman Ojha not out 11
Extras: (b 5, lb 3, w 1) 9
Total: (4 wickets; 15.2 overs) 144
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Jayawardene, 0.3 overs), 2-96 (Pietersen, 10.2), 3-106 (Taylor, 11.4), 4-131 (Sehwag, 14.4)
Ankeet Chavan 4 0 29 1
Pankaj Singh 2-0-24-0
Shane Watson 4-0-29-1
Amit Singh 1- 0-12-0
Brad Hogg 4-0-32-2
Ashok Menaria 0.2-0-10-0