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Sachin said it was a matter of one knock: Sehwag

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Friday, the 30th was a treat for Virender Sehwag’s fans. After scoring a match-winning 58-ball 122 against Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2, Sehwag said that his former team-mate and idol Sachin Tendulkar had firm faith that it was only a matter of time before the dashing opener came good this season.

“I was hitting the ball well throughout the tournament. I had a chat with Sachin Tendulkar also and he told me that your hand is going really well and it is just a matter of one innings, just stay there and put a conscious effort to bat 10-12 overs and everything will be right,” Sehwag said after lifting his first Man-of-the-Match award this season.

Batting at a strike rate of 210, Sehwag sent the CSK bowlers for a leather hunt as he hammered 12 fours and eight huge sixes in his best-ever IPL knock. His carefree strokeplay and casual hunger for runs rolled back the clock by five years when Sehwag was at his brutal best, taking the Indian Test side to number one in rankings. Sehwag, who came in to the game with just a solitary fifty (72) this season (in a losing cause against KKR), was due a big knock.

“I had promised someone that I will play at least one good innings. I was just hitting the ball the way I want and nothing changed. Whenever I got out early, my son used to tell me Papa you are not scoring runs but I said Beta hold on there are couple of games left, so maybe I will show you what I am capable of,” he said.

Once Sehwag’s blitz took KXIP to 226 for 6, CSK had their work cut out in the huge chase but also having in mind Mumbai Indians’ chase of Rajasthan Royals’ 189 inside 15 overs on the same surface here a few days ago. CSK were well on the track as Suresh Raina’s 25-ball 87 took the two-time champions to a record 100 in the first six overs. George Bailey’s brilliant run-out of Raina changed the match and Sehwag agreed.

“I thought only if Raina made a mistake we had a chance in this game and he was batting tremendously well, thanks to Bailey, it was a great run-out and after that the game changed,” he said.

Looking ahead to the final, where KXIP will be playing for the first time, 35-year-old Sehwag said he will use his experience of playing previous IPL knockout games in a bid to help his new franchise lift their maiden title.

“I have played couple of play-offs and semi-finals but didn’t qualify for the final, but this time we beat the best team, CSK. Hopefully we will go to Bangalore and play the way we want to. The way Punjab are playing, we hope to win the final as well,” he said.


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