Delhi march on without Sehwag

The loss of Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag to injury shouldn’t hamper a powerful Delhi batting line-up that includes AB de Villiers.

The Wanderers will play host to a battle royale on Saturday, in a league match that will pit the second ranked Delhi Daredevils against a buoyant Chennai Super Kings – who after their win over the Rajasthan Royals last night have vaulted into fifth place on the Indian Premier League standings.

Both sides gained important confidence boosting wins during Thursday’s exciting double-header in Centurion, with the Daredevils defeating the unbeaten Chargers by six wickets, while the Super Kings overwhelmed the defending champion Rajasthan Royals by 38 runs in the late match.

However Delhi Daredevils may have to make do without the services of their captain and explosive opening batsmen Virender Sehwag who received fourstitches to his left hand after just failing to hold on to a catch during the match against the Chargers.

‘Maybe I will be unavailable for the next game, but I will definitely be back soon. We have a very good squad and will do well in the tournament,’ said Sehwag

The opener did not appear too troubled when he batted later in the match making 20 runs off 11 balls, and though he has yet to hit his best form in Season 2009 of the IPL, such is his presence at the
top of the Delhi Daredevils order that he will be sorely missed.

Still the Delhi Daredevils have two of the top five leading run-scorers in their batting order in AB de Villiers, who with 181 runs in four innings is currently ranked 4 in the Orange Cap standings, while his team-mate and Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan, whose match-winning half-century on Thursday boosted his aggregate for the tournament to 176 runs is placed fifth on the Orange Cap leader board standings.

The worrisome bowling for the Delhi Daredevils also seems to have started showing signs of improvement led by some excellent work by left-arm new ball bowlers Dirk Nannes and Ashish Nehra. Between them they’ve collected nine wickets and have economy rates below eight.

The Chennai Super Kings will hope to carry the momentum from Thursday night’s win over the Rajasthan Royals into today’s encounter. Their win was dominated by a spectacular all-round performance by Suresh Raina that saw him score 98 runs, claim a wicket and two catches and also win the Man of the Match award for his efforts.

While delighted with the batting, their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was most pleased with his side’s bowling, with Laksmipathy Balaji the star claiming 4-21 in 3.3 overs. Dhoni stated afterwards that that was the kind of performance he wanted to see all the time from his bowlers and against a powerful Delhi Daredevils batting line-up – with or without Sehwag – the kind of discipline they showed Thursday night will be vital. Lakhsmipathy Balaji is now third in the Purple Cap standings with a rich haul of 10 wickets from just four games.