New Delhi, May 17 (UNI) Virender Sehwag's 26-ball 51 went in vain, as Kings XI Punjab put up a spirited performance to defeat Delhi Daredevils by six runs in the rain-curtailed 11 over a side match at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here tonight.
Asked to score 123 to win, Kings XI finished 94 for three in eight overs to emerge winners under Duckworth-Lewis system.
The Kings XI Punjab did not have an auspicious start and lost their first three wickets at the score of 31.
But despite the early losses, Punjab maintained a good run rate and always kept themselves ahead of the required target.
Yuvraj Singh looked threatening for Daredevils during his brief stay at the crease, as he launched Glen McGrath for two successive sixes. But the swashbuckling left-hander became a victim of his own aggression and could not connect a McGrath delivery well with Maharoof holding on to a spectacular catch at mid-off.
Yuvraj scored 23 runs off just eight balls with three sixes and a four.
The visitors raced to 50 in the fifth over and Sehwag, who took the ball to bowl the sixth over, was given a taste of his own batting as he conceded 22 runs.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawerdene teamed with Luke Pomersbach as the duo added 63 runs off 30 balls when the rain halted the game for the last time.
Pomersbach hit three huge sixes and made a pacy 25 off just 12 balls while Jayaweredene scored a 17-ball 36 with two hits over the fence and three fours.
In the rain curtailed match which saw match being interrupted twice the umpires finally decided to make it 11 overs a side match and Kings XI Punjab were set a revised target 123.
Earlier, the start was delayed by 20 minutes, as Sehwag won the toss.
The Daredevils began promisingly and Sehwag's intentions looked dangerous from the word go as he smashed a half-volley from Sreesanth to third-man for six in the first over of the match.
But soon in Sreesanth's next over, Sehwag got a respite from his counterpart when Yuvraj Singh dropped a fairly simple catch at mid-off to mount Sreesanth's woes, who seemed struggling bowling wides one after the other.
The first over itself set the tempo for Daredevils, but the batsmen did not have to make much of an effort as Sreesanth bowled four wides in it.
India's Twenty20 World Cup star Gautam Gambhir continued his amazing run in the tournament and started his assault on Kings XI bowlers. In search of a wicket, Yuvraj introduced VRV Singh but the two Delhi batsmen greeted him to score 22 runs off his first over.
Gambhir has been in awesome form in the tournament and has scored 465 runs so far and is the proud owner of the 'orange cap' too.
Ramesh Powar, who made his IPL debut in this match, was introduced in the seventh over and he held his captain's trust as he clean bowled Gambhir but not before the left-hander had given his side a great start.
Gambhir put 75 runs for the opening wicket and scored a flamboyant 40 off 28 balls, which was studded with seven hits to the fence. He failed to read a delivery from Powar that went straight between his bat and pad.
However, Sehwag took the charge after him and launched a flurry of sixes as he raced to 47 off just 19 balls with five huge sixes.
Sehwag made sure that he utilised the chance given by Yuvraj and did not leave any bowler before the start of rain.
Daredevils were 94 for one after 8.1 overs and Shikar Dhawan was on one giving company to Sehwag.
When the play resumed the umpires had made it 11 overs a side match.
Dhawan resumed the Daredevils' innings on a good note as he lofted Powar in to the mid-wicket stands and completed the hosts' 100 in just 51 balls.
Powar gave his side another breakthrough, when he induced a false stroke from Dhawan (7) and Piyush Chawla made no mistake to complete a comfortable catch at mid-off.
Sehwag soon completed his 50 with a couple off VRV Singh, but the hard-hitting opener was denied strike by Kings XI bowlers.
James Hopes bowled an excellent last over as he took two wickets of Tilekretne Dilshan (8) and Fervez Maharoof (0) to deny the hosts any further advantage. He gave away just three runs in his only over of the match.
Sehwag remained unbeaten on 51 which came off 26 balls.
Powar and Hopes took two wickest each while other Kings XI bowlers struggled against some hard hitting of Sehwag and Gambhir.
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