Virender Sehwag batted like a man possessed as his brilliant 107 on Monday dispelled doubts about his finger injury but favourites Delhi suffered the ignominy of a six-wicket defeat against a determined Uttar Pradesh in a thrilling Ranji Trophy Group B match here.
Sehwag had played cautiously yesterday to reach 21 but today he blasted the Uttar Pradesh bowlers repeatedly, peppering the off-side field as he hit 19 boundaries in his 165 ball knock.
It was solely due to Sehwag's heroics that Delhi managed 322 in their second innings, leaving UP with a target of 155 to win in 50 overs.
Chasing the target, rival skipper Suresh Raina, who was today axed from India's Test squad, hit a quickfire 37 but once he was holed out in the deep by Sangwan off Ishant Sharma's bowling, UP looked like going out of steam.
When Raina got out, UP still needed around 40 runs. Delhi's stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir along with senior bowlers Ashish Nehra and Ishant Sharma indulged in time-wasting tactics under fading light with umpire Amish Saheba telling them to speed things up.
It was then left to Arish Alam (15 no) and Ali Murtaza (14 no), who batted superbly in fading light, to take UP home. The duo hit Ishant Sharma for nine runs and then struck Vikas Mishra for a couple of boundaries to win pocket the match for the home team.
It was Murtaza's spanking square drive off a Sumit Narwal delivery that levelled the scores before Arish's late cut off Mishra ended the match.
The fourth day's play, however, was all about Sehwag's batting. Sehwag, who ran out of partners, got good support from Pradeep Sangwan (21) towards the end as he raced to his century in 146 balls.
Sehwag was in such mood that he smashed seven boundaries adding to the three he hit overnight as he went on to complete his half century.