New Delhi: Stunned by defeat to a relatively weaker opposition in Pune Warriors India, Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag said his counterpart Sourav Ganguly's twin strikes with the ball and his own dismissal turned out to be the deciding factors in their 20-run loss in an Indian Premier League match in New Delhi on Saturday.
Ganguly led from the front, scoring 41 runs with the bat, and then scalped two crucial wickets in the form of dangerman Kevin Pietersen and Irfan Pathan, to guide Pune to a big win over the star-studded Delhi Daredevils at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.
"Dada's two wickets came at a crucial time," was Sehwag`s reply when asked about Ganguly's two-for-27 spell. Asked about his own dismissal, the Delhi opener, who scored a 32-ball 57 before being caught by Murali Kartik off his own bowling in the 13th over, said, "Absolutely, it [my dismissal] was crucial because the way I was batting, I should have continued."
Under pressure while chasing a challenging 192 for three set by Pune, Delhi were forced to alter their batting line-up as they promoted Mahela Jayawardene up the order to open the innings with Sehwag in place of regular opener Naman Ojha. But the move failed to reap any dividends for the hosts as Jayawardene fell for just seven when the team score was 12.
"Nothing went in our favour today. Our bowling and batting changes didn't work. I changed the batting order because of the pressure of chasing 190, but we lost two crucial wickets [Pietersen and Pathan] in quick succession," Sehwag said at the post-match press conference. "Big players don't guarantee you win. Chasing 190, there is always pressure on the batsmen because you need to hit every ball. Me and Naman were not giving good starts, so I just thought of promoting Mahela as he has done remarkably well in the recent past, opening the batting for Sri Lanka."
Despite the loss, Delhi continue to top the standings with eight points from six games, while the win propelled Pune up to the third position, also on eight points. The two teams will again lock horns against each other in the return leg match at Pune's Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.
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