MUMBAI, MAY 7: Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag was left regretting the lack of a good start as his side lost to the Mumbai Indians by 32 runs on Saturday, a defeat that has virtually ended Delhi’s hopes of making the play-offs.
The visitors were reduced to 7/4 in three overs, leaving them with an uphill task chasing 179. “We lost four quick wickets for seven runs. After that it was difficult for the middle order to win the game for the team,” admitted Sehwag. “At the end of the day we still scored 146 runs. But hats off to the Mumbai Indians, they played really well.”
After a brilliant century in the last game, the talismanic opener himself could only manage two runs this time around. When asked about Delhi’s fortunes depending on his form, Sehwag said, “If you look at IPL history, it looks true for this season. But no one is bigger than the team and I’m not bigger than the team. Of course, I would like to score runs if I can. The other players also have to learn how to score runs in India. If they can contribute for the team, then it becomes easier for the other players and for the captain. Today our top order batsmen didn’t click, so it becomes very difficult when you are chasing 180.”
In contrast, Mumbai got off to a quick-fire start, with Aiden Blizzard hitting Morne Morkel (1/49) for five fours in an over in the course of his 23-ball 37, as the home team made 35/0 in 3 overs. A late surge from Rohit Sharma (49) and man-of-the-match Ambati Rayudu (59) then propelled Mumbai to 178/4. Skipper Sachin Tendulkar praised their efforts, saying, “We got off to a brilliant start. Blizzard batted beautifully in the first 3-4 overs. And then some sensible batting by Rohit and Rayudu helped us reach a big total.” Meanwhile, Sehwag was, as always, direct in his assessment of his team’s performance. “The wicket was good. We did not bat well. We also did not field well. We dropped catches and there were misfields too.”
Mumbai’s Lasith Malinga again picked up two wickets, following his five-wicket haul in the previous game between the two sides this season. The Sri Lankan is the current leading wicket-taker in the tournament, and Sehwag agreed it was difficult for most batsmen to play the fast bowler. “It is difficult for a new player who is facing Malinga for the first or second time to pick him. Malinga is the kind of bowler who can give you early wickets. Whenever he comes to bowl again, he gives away two or three runs and tries to take one more wicket in that over. So it is difficult to play a bowler like Malinga.”
Delhi are now seventh in the table, with eight points from 11 games, but the skipper is not willing to take it easy in the remaining three games. “Now we are out of the competition as we can’t qualify for the semi-finals. It’s a good chance for the other players to come back into form. We will try to pick the right combination for the coming games and hopefully we’ll play well as a team and perform well for next year.”