Chennai Super Kings saw off a dodgy fifties from Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer to beat Delhi Daredevils by 13 runs and move to the top of the points table.

Chasing an improbable 212, Delhi were off to the worst possible start. Their last match’s half-centurion Prithvi Shaw was sent back by KM Asif for just 9. Shreyas Iyer and Colin Munro then calmed down the nerves but could not stitch a big stand.

They added 36 runs before Asif struck once again to remove Munro. Delhi’s hopes then all but ended when their skipper was run out for 13 which left them reeling at 64 for 3.ย  10 runs later, they suffered another setback when Glenn Maxwell departed too. At the halfway stage of the innings, Delhi were reeling at 78 for 4.

But just when it looked all over, Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar revived the chase. Pant scored a 34-ball fifty to keep his team in hunt. At the end of the 15th over, Daredevils were 128 for 4. The equation was down to 55 runs off the last three overs. However, on the fourth ball of the 18th over, Lungi Ngidi dismissed Pant to all but end Delhi’s bleak hopes. The southpaw scored 79 off 45. With 28 runs needed off the last over, Delhi finished their innings on 198 for 5. Shankar remained unbeaten on 54.

Earlier in the game, a MS Dhoni special and Shane Watson’s fifty propelled the Super Kings to a huge 211 for 4 in the allotted 20 overs.

Put in to bat first, the Super Kings were off to a solid start. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis laid the foundation for a huge total by adding 102 runs for the first wicket. Watson was the aggressor during the stand while du Plessis looked more than happy to play the role of the second fiddle.

Delhi managed to break the stand after the duo completed the 100-run stand. Vijay Shankar drew the first blood by dismissing du Plessis who scored run-a-ball 33.

Du Plessis’ dismissal allowed Delhi to claw their way back in the game and they totally pounced upon it. A run after du Plessis’ wicket, Glenn Maxwell dismissed Suresh Raina for 1. Watson also could not convert his fifty into a century as Amit Mishra sent him back for 78. However, Super Kings did not lose the plot despite losing three wickets in quick succession.

The in-form duo of Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni then took the innings forward. Dhoni took the onus on himself to guide his team to a good total as he attacked from ball one. In the first ten balls he faced, the Super Kings skipper slammed three sixes, thus setting the tone for a strong finish. On the other hand, Rayudu was also firing on all cylinders, matching Dhoni shot for shot.

The Super Kings crossed the 200-run mark in the final over when Dhoni hit another six. He and Rayudu added 79 runs before the latter was run out for 41 on the penultimate ball of the innings. Dhoni reached his fifty on the last ball, thus remaining unbeaten on 51 off 22 balls.

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