Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan were laying a platform for Delhi Capitals to reach a big score against Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla. However, Dwayne Bravo, who leaked 17 runs in his first over, changed the complexion of the game in the death overs by taking three wickets, including that of Pant (25) and Dhawan (51). His spell resulted in Delhi Capitals scoring just 29 runs in the last five overs. Chennai Super Kings’s batting, boosted by Shane Watson’s blazing start at the top, helped MS Dhoni’s side secure their second straight win in IPL 2019 by beating Delhi Capitals comfortably by six wickets with two balls to spare on Tuesday.
Bravo’s spell made the entire difference for Chennai Super Kings after Dhawan’s 33rd IPL fifty had laid a solid platform for Delhi Capitals, who chose to bat and included Amit Mishra in place of Trent Boult. Prithvi Shaw looked in great touch again and he got going with four boundaries off Shardul Thakur, including three in one over. Dhawan got off the mark with a boundary and batted aggressively as Delhi Capitals reached 35/0 in the first four overs.
Shaw’s promising knock of 24 came to an end when he mistimed the pull shot off Deepak Chahar to be caught by Watson at midwicket. Shreyas Iyer, the skipper, struggled for timing and Delhi Capitals were beginning to lose momentum with Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir making run-scoring difficult. Harbhajan let go of an opportunity to mankad Iyer and the batsman responded by clobbering Tahir for a six over long on.
Dhawan looked good at the other end and he neared his fifty with a couple of fours off Tahir but the partnership ended when Iyer was trapped LBW by the South African legspinner. In came Rishabh Pant, who had set the Wankhede on fire with a blazing 78 off 27 balls and the crowd at the Kotla were hoping for a repeat.
Pant got going with a four off while Dhawan smashed two consecutive fours in Bravo’s first over which leaked 17 runs. When Pant hit Harbhajan for a six, the stage was set for an onslaught but things went pear-shaped for Delhi Capitals with Bravo roaring back and restricting the hosts to a sub-par total. Although Dhawan scored a fifty, he had consumed 48 balls and there was a feeling that his sheet-anchor style innings had actually hurt Delhi Capitals’ quest for a big total as they were restricted to 147/6.
Watto power at the top
In response, Chennai Super Kings started poorly. Ambati Rayudu, who was dropped on 4 by Dhawan off Ishant, could not capitalise and he fell for 5 when he miscued the pull shot to cover.
Watson, though, was unfazed and he got going with a boundary off Ishant. In the fourth over bowled by Rabada, Watson pulled him for a four and six to fine leg. This set off a heated confrontation which saw Ishant and Rabada going after Watson. Suresh Raina joined in the fun when he creamed a hat-trick of boundaries off Ishant. The runs kept flowing with the Australian opener hammering a couple of sixes off Amit Mishra but the legspinner had his revenge when he had Watson stumped for 44. Raina tonked legspinner Rahul Tewatia for a six but his breezy innings ended on 30 when Pant held on to a smart catch to give Mishra his second wicket.
Dhoni came in and he was slow to get off the blocks. His strike-rate of under 80 made the match interesting. With 22 runs needed off the last three overs, Dhoni drilled a four off Keemo Paul to ease some of the nerves that had crept into the Chennai Super Kings camp and put the game in Chennai Super Kings' hands when the skipper mauled Mishra down the ground for a big six. In the last over bowled by Rabada, Kedar Jadhav fell and despite two dot balls which increased the tension, Bravo fittingly scored the winnings runs by pulling Rabada to the fine leg fence.