Virender Sehwag returned to form with a blistering unbeaten 95 to help Delhi Daredevils break the jinx of six straight defeats and open their account in the ongoing Pepsi Indian Premier League with a thumping nine wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
The win, also aided by skipper Mahela Jayawardene's classy 59, breaks Delhi's eight straight defeats, including the two in last year's qualifier and eliminator.
Chasing a challenging 162, Sehwag and Jayawardene made short work of MI's ordinary bowling attack to help Delhi overwhelm the target with three overs to spare.
While Sehwag hit a whopping 13 fours and two sixes during his 57-ball knock, Jayawardene decorated his 43-ball innings with eight boundaries and one hit over the fence. May be it was the presence of Sir Vivian Richards in Delhi's dressing room that brought out a signature Sehwag innings.
If Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma entertained the crowd during the first session, Sehwag and Jayawardene's exhilarating strokeplay in the second half enthralled the spectators even more.
If Sehwag's innings was all about brute power, Jayawardene was elegant in his shot-making as he more often caressed the ball to the boundary. While Sehwag blazed to his 50 in just 31 balls, Jayawardene never looked like brutalizing the bowling but yet completed his half-century in 34 deliveries.
For the first time in the tournament, Delhi's opening combo fired as Sehwag and Jayawardene shared 151 runs off 94 balls to lay the foundation for the comfortable win.
The listless Mumbai bowling attack finally tasted a success in the form of Jayawardene who got out LBW to Lasith Malinga with Delhi just needing 11 runs to win.
While Delhi registered their first win in the tournament out of seven games, for Mumbai it's their fourth defeat out of six matches in IPL 6.
Earlier, Rohit (73 off 43) and Tendulkar (54 off 47) slammed quickfire half centuries to propel Mumbai Indians to a challenging 161 for four.
Sharma and Tendulkar shared 96 runs for the third wicket off just 67 balls to set the platform for Mumbai's total. Kieron Pollard (19 off 10) played an useful cameo towards the end. Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers for the Delhi outfit, scalping two wickets for 31 runs in his four overs.
Opting to bat, Mumbai made a change up the order and sent Dwayne Smith along with Tendulkar to open the innings in place of skipper Ricky Ponting. But there was no difference in the result as they lost a wicket early yet again. Smith departed after scoring eight runs, smartly caught by Yadav in the second attempt at mid-off off Roelof van der Merwe in the fourth over.
Mumbai adopted a cautious approach initially but soon they were dealt a severe blow in the form of its most prolific batsman this season, Dinesh Karthik. Karthik should consider himself little unlucky as he was run out after a terrific Tendulkar straight drive deflected off bowler Yadav's hand on to the stumps as Mumbai slumped to 22 for two in 5.1 overs.
But then came in Sharma and together with Tendulkar, he not only steadied the ship, but also gave momentum to Mumbai's innings. It was Tendulkar who held together Mumbai's innings and gave Sharma the license to free his arms from the other end.
Tendulkar made his intentions clear when he pulled Ajit Agarkar for a mighty six in the seventh over and then played a beautiful paddle sweep off Shahbaz Nadeem.
The duo of Tendulkar and Sharma mixed caution with aggression and did not let go any bad delivery that came their way as Mumbai reached 57 at the halfway mark. Sharma used the long handle to great effect and even outpaced Tendulkar. Sharma smashed Pathan for two boundaries in the 15th over to notch up his half century in just 31 balls.
In between Tendulkar got a reprieve when Nadeem dropped a regulation caught-and-bowled chance in the 11th over, when the batsman was on 37.
Tendulkar grabbed the opportunity with both hands and scored his first fifty of IPL 6 in style, clobbering Agarkar for a six over the fine-leg boundary. But the veteran batsman departed in the next over while searching for quick runs. He was caught by David Warner at extra cover off the bowling off Yadav.
Tendulkar decorated his innings with three fours and two sixes. Tendulkar's dismissal did not put the brakes on Sharma, who continued his onslaught before perishing in the 19th over. He was caught by Andre Russell off Yadav, but not before hitting five fours and as many sixes.
Pollard finished off Mumbai's innings in style, hitting the last delivery, bowled by Van der Merwe, for a six over long-on.