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THERE weren't any downcast faces in the crowd when Virender Sehwag started walking back towards the Kings XI Punjab dug out after being dismissed by Delhi Daredevils' bowler Mohammad Shami for nine. That delivery, which Sehwag tried to punch on the back foot but took a thick edge to the slips, brought Glenn Maxwell at the crease. The 25000 strong crowd at the stadium greeted him with a rapturous roar. After all, this was the moment they all had been waiting for, to watch Maxwell bat.
Their joy was, however, short-lived as Unadkat, bowling his second over, dismissed the batsman for naught. Looking to pull the short pitched delivery that was moving away, Maxwell ended up giving a simple catch to Pietersen and the leading scorer for Punjab (533 runs) failed to open his account for the first time in this tournament. The vociferous crowd went silent.
However, the new batsman David Miller and opener Manan Vohra ensured their mood wasn't dampened as both the batsman gave the fans a perfect farewell gift by taking the team to victory.
The two batsmen added 96 runs in ten overs to take the team near victory. While Manan got to his fourth score above forty, he missed out on his maiden fifty of the season. He had scored 47 off 38 balls with four fours and two sixes when Imran Tahir bowled him.
Miller ensured that there wasn't any further casualty for Punjab, finishing off the run chase with a six off Tahir as Punjab made 119 for 3 with 37 balls to spare.
Earlier, George Bailey put the Delhi team in to bat first. Delhi batsmen with the exception of Kevin Pietersen (58) failed to show much resolve as the side were bowled out for 115 with 11 balls still to be bowled in their innings.
Brief Scores: Delhi 115 all out in 18.1 overs (K Pietersen 58, P Awana 2/15, Karanveer Singh 2/22) ; Punjab 119/3 in 13.5 overs (M Vohra 47, D Miller 47 n.o)
- Tashi Lundup