Virender Sehwag struck a destructive half-century as Delh secured a six-wicket victory over Jaipur in the IPL in Ahmedabad.
Jaipurs, put into bat, squandered a fairly decent start and were restricted to a below-par 141 for six despite a steady 53 from Abhishek Jhunjhunwala.
Sehwag then smashed a ferocious 75 off 34 deliveries and Dinesh Karthik made an unbeaten 23 as Delhi eclipsed that target in 17.1 overs to hand Jaipur their second straight defeat.
Jaipur’s innings began in blazing fashion but soon fizzled after a clatter of wickets. Opener Swapnil Asnodkar (five) was felled by Dirk Nannes in the second over, number three Naman Ojha (24) departed immediately after hitting Amit Mishra for consecutive fours and a six and Graeme Smith (18) holed out in the deep after showing considerable intent.
Jaipur suffered a further setback when Farveez Maharoof, who was smashed for 24 in his first two overs with the new ball, snared Yusuf Pathan for a five-ball duck.
Those blows brought Jhunjhunwala and Paras Dogra (29) together but Jaipur’s recovery was painfully slow, the next five overs yielding a paltry 12 runs.
The duo lifted the total with a 60-run stand, but just when they looked set to take the attack to Delhi, Dogra was run out and Jaipur again lost steam.
Jhunjhunwala was soon left to fight a lone battle and the middle-order batsman reached his maiden IPL half-century with a boundary off the last delivery, his knock coming off 45 balls.
Sehwag, a failure in the previous game against Mohali, got Delhi’s chase off to a fiery start, but Dimitri Mascarenhas gave the Jaipur a glimmer of hope by removing opener Gautam Gambhir (nine) and Tillakaratne Dilshan off consecutive deliveries.
However, those blows only seemed to spur Sehwag and he continued with renewed vigour.
Sehwag was reprieved on 41 by Shaun Tait, reached his half-century off only 21 deliveries and added 25 more to his score before Smith held a brilliant catch to get rid of the opener.
Sehwag’s blitz left Delhi needing only 42 from the last 10 overs, but the wicket of AB de Villiers (15) provided another twist and the visitors – for the second time in as many matches – laboured over the finish line.