Sehwag blitz sees Delhi stay top

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The Delhi Daredevils strengthened their position at the top of the 2012 Indian Premier League standings thanks to a comfortable triumph over the Pune Warriors at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.

The Delhi Daredevils strengthened their position at the top of the 2012 Indian Premier League standings thanks to a comfortable triumph over the Pune Warriors at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.

Beaten by the same opposition earlier in the tournament, Delhi welcomed sweet revenge on the back of Morne Morkel and Irfan Pathan's telling blows at the start of the piece before a characteristic blitz from Virender Sehwag sealed an eight-wicket victory with all of four overs to spare.

Pune's decision to bat first after winning the toss amounted to a shaky 146 for two. Their total would have read considerably worse were it not for half-centuries from Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa, who weighed in with 80 not out and 60 not out respectively.

The duo cherished an unbroken 145-run alliance across 18.4 overs, racking up 13 boundaries and a trio of sixes between them. Their stand was particularly pivotal after Jesse Ryder and Sourav Ganguly, instrumental in Pune's success over Delhi last week, fell cheaply to Pathan and Morkel respectively.

The Daredevils' pursuit didn't enjoy a fluid start, with Mahela Jayawardene run out for 18. Captain Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen, though, soon had the chase back on track.

The Indian and English big-hitters collectively blazed through 89 runs inside nine overs. Luke Wright, picked ahead of Angelo Mathews, and Ashish Nehra proved the most expensive of the lot as the Pune attack fetched to all corners.

While Pietersen had to settle on 27 after holing out in the deep, Sehwag made no mistake in moving to 87 not out from just 48 deliveries. The home pack had no answer to his 10 boundaries and three sixes, which brought the talented right-hander the Man of the Match award.

Tuesday's result saw the Delhi franchise, now on 10 points, emerge outright leaders of the nine-team standings. The Warriors unit, meanwhile, were left to rue a fall from third to fourth.

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