Riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s maiden IPL century and a six-hitting spree from Axar Patel, the Delhi Capitals beat Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in the Indian Premier League here on Saturday. On the back of this win, the Capitals is back to the top of the points table with 14 points from nine matches, while the Super Kings remains at sixth with six points in nine matches.
In a thrilling final over, Delhi needed 17 runs and with Ravindra Jadeja the bowler, Delhi’s Axar Patel chose to flex his betting muscles striking three towering sixes to seal the deal in his team’s favour with a ball to spare. Keeping him company was opener Dhawan who struck a wonderful 101 not out (58b, 14x4, 1x6).
Earlier, Faf Du Plessis hit his fourth half-century of the season before Ambati Rayudu produced another useful cameo as a collective batting effort propelled Chennai Super Kings to 179 for four.
Du Plessis (58) added 87 runs with Shane Watson (36) after early fall of Sam Curran (0), setting it up nicely for the CSK.
Rayudu hit 45 off 25 balls while Ravindra Jadeja hit four sixes in his fiery 33-run knock as CSK collected runs in the last three overs. One of Jadeja’s sixes landed on the road outside the stadium.
They added 50 runs in 3.3 overs during their unbeaten fifth wicket partnership.
While Watson relied on safe ground-strokes considering the sluggish track Du Plessis did not hesitate to improvise, playing a lot of scoop shots. He pulled the short ones with ease. Young pacer Tushar Deshpande bowled a tight line with decent speed and was rewarded when Curran, without measuring the bowler, swung his arms but just managed a top-edge that was taken by Anrich Nortje (2/44).
The ball was stopping a bit on the slow Sharjah wicket but after four quiet overs, Du Plessis creamed off 14 runs from Nortje’s first over, hitting his compatriot for a six and two fours. Watson, using his experience, got some quick runs by placing the ball instead of going after the bowlers. His handling of the both pacers and spinners was sensible as the Australian kept the scoreboard moving.
Du Plessis completed his fifty with a single of Nortje but Watson was castled by the South African in the next ball.
The Super Kings batsmen did not let off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin take advantage of the slow surface, taking easy runs off him. Rabada sent back Du Plessis while Nortje got rid of rival skipper MS Dhoni (3) but Rayudu and Jadeja helped the side reach a competitive total.
BRIEF SCORES: Chennai Super Kings 179/4 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 58, Ambati Rayudu 45*) lost to Delhi Capitals 185/5 in 19.5 overs (S Dhawan 101*)