Virender Sehwag reminded the fans of his glorious past with a strokeful century, which propelled Kings XI Punjab to an imposing 226 for six against Chennai Super Kings in the second Qualifier of the IPL, here today.
Sehwag is only the second batsman this season to score a century after Mumbai Indians' Lendl Simmons, who had scored an unbeaten 100 against Punjab only. And this is not first time Sehwag has scored a hundred in IPL, his first coming in 2011 for Delhi Daredevils against Deccan Chargers.
It rained fours and sixes as Sehwag punished the hapless Chennai bowler with utter disdain to smash his way to highest individual score of this season, a magnificent 122.
CSK skipper M S Dhoni shuffled his bowlers around but there was no stopping Sehwag, who entertained the Wankhede crowd with eight sixes and 12 fours in a 58-ball innings.
And it is not first time that Punjab have tormented the Chennai bowlers like this, since their previous highest score (231/4) had also come against the Dhoni-led side.
The hand-eye coordination, which has got Sehwag thousands of runs in international cricket, was at work again. He put on 110 runs for the first wicket with Manan Vohra (34) and flattened the Super Kings bowling attack, which has conceded a score in excess of 200 for the third time in the season to the same opponents.
The swashbuckling opener’s pyrotechnics, when everyone expected Glenn Maxwell as the bigger threat, caught the two-time former champions by surprise.
No one was spared by the bespectacled Sehwag who looked unstoppable and completed his ton with a single in the 16th over off only 50 balls, the fastest hundred by any batsman in this IPL season.
Such was Sehwag’s domination of the Super Kings bowling that the smart knocks of Vohra, who hit 2 sixes and a four in 31 balls, and David Miller (38 in 19 balls) went into the shade.
Super Kings bled runs as their two lead spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja conceded 44 and 48 runs respectively. Paceman Ashish Nehra was the costliest by giving away 51 runs for the wickets of Sehwag and George Bailey. Mohit Sharma gave away 46 runs while Ishwar Pandey was the only bowler to concede under 40.