Delhi Capitals [DC] completed a dominant 44-run win over Chennai Super Kings after an all-round bowling performance saw them successfully defend their total of 175.
Chasing 176, CSK once again failed to up the ante in the first 10 overs. Shane Watson (14 off 16 balls) and Murali Vijay (10 off 15 balls) did not help their sides’ cause as CSK managed a mere 34 runs in 6 overs.
Ruturaj Gaikwad once again found himself short of the crease following a horrible miscommunication between him and Du Plessis. CSK managed just 13 runs in the next four overs, taking their score to 3-47 in 10 overs.
Kedar Jadhav struggled to get going right from the outset, once again begging the question of why MS Dhoni did not come out to bat at No.4. With Jadhav struggling, Faf du Plessis tried to up the ante and he was very nearly dismissed but for Hetmyer who dropped him in the deep.
Compared to CSK’s spinners, who gave away 77 runs in their 8 overs, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra conceded just 41 runs in their quota.
With 105 needed off 7 overs, Jadhav finally up the ante after the timeout, Kedar Jadhav and Faf du Plessis finally threw caution to the winds, smoking four boundaries in the next two overs. Jadhav eventually got dismissed leg-before wicket, bringing Dhoni to the crease.
Dhoni started the innings on a positive note courtesy a fierce square-cut off Anrich Nortje and followed it with a straight hit over Avesh Khan’s head ion the first ball of the 17th over. Avesh Khan strangled down the leg-side, only for MS to deflect it past fine-leg. Kagiso Rabada got rid of Faf du Plessis in the next over and with the equation down to 55 off 12 balls, only a MS Dhoni magic could have saved Chennai.
But unfortunately, none of that happened as Anrich Nortje bowled a brilliant penultimate over, paving Dhoni to eventually get dismissed for 12-ball 15 in the last over.
Prithvi Shaw’s whirlwind 64 off 43 balls led DC to 3-175
Prithvi Shaw got DC off to a flying start courtesy two cracking strokes in the form of a backfoot punch and an elegant cover-drive.
Shaw was lucky though as CSK did not appeal for the caught-behind on the second ball of the first over, with the replays clearly showing that he got a faint edge off his bat.
Shaw looked in ominous touch right from the very outset. With Dhawan taking his time initially, Shaw kept the scoreboard ticking with his audacious strokeplay, none better than his boundary over Sam Curran’s head in the 4th over.
Shikhar Dhawan struggled his way to 7 of his first 13 balls as Delhi made 0-36 in the first powerplay. Dhoni turned to Piyush Chawla immediately after the powerplay but the veteran leg-spinner struggled with his length as he regularly dished out half-trackers, only for Prithvi Shaw to rock back and hammer them both in front and back of square for a couple of boundaries.
Jadeja too didn’t have the best of starts as Dhawan welcomed him with a monstrous six over square-leg to bring up the 50-run stand before following it up a slog sweep over midwicket for a boundary.
Shaw continued to show his class courtesy his audacious drives off Piyush Chawla in the very next over. The talented opener soon brought up his 5th IPL 50 on his 35th delivery and he celebrated that with a disdainful pull over backward square-leg off Ravindra Jadeja.
DC accumulated 52 runs in the four overs of Chawla and Jadeja but the former finally drew first blood after he trapped Dhawan- who had smoked 28 off his last 14 deliveries- LBW after the southpaw missed the attempted reverse-sweep.
One brought two for Piyush Chawla as he outfoxed Prithvi Shaw [64 off 43 balls], who had danced down the track, with a flatter trajectory to get him stumped. Chawla made a really good comeback as he gave just 3 runs in his last 9 balls before having conceded 30 in his first 15.
Rishabh Pant [37* off 25 balls] played some delightful strokes during his innings, and he was the main aggressor during the 58-run stand with Shreyas Iyer [26 off 22 balls] before the latter was dismissed courtesy a stunning catch by MS Dhoni. It was an apt reward for Sam Curran, who bowled a brilliant 19th over, where he mixed up his speeds really well, giving just 4 runs.
Pant and Stoinis assault [14 runs including 3 boundaries] on Hazlewood in the last over ensured that DC finished on a high, giving CSK a target of 176 in 20 overs.