By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
THE YOUNG AND dynamic Delhi Capitals prevailed over the Dad’s Army Chennai Super Kings by 44 runs to jump to the top of the table in the Dream11 Indian Premier League on Friday.
Delhi Capitals dished out an inspiring performance to register their second successive victories by taming three-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the seventh IPL match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Chasing a challenging target of 176, last year’s runners-up CSK were restricted to 131 for 7, one of their worst batting performances in the last few years. It was the second consecutive defeat for CSK after they edged past defending champions Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the inaugural outing.
For the third match in a row, Faf du Plessis came good with the bat but it was not enough. Once again CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni came down the batting order which proved disastrous for his team. When he came to bat, they needed to score nearly 25 runs per over. He displayed a couple of shots but perished while trying to hit another big one.
The experienced opening duo of Shane Watson (14) and Murali Vijay (10) failed yet again. Kedar Jadhav offered a semblance of resistance by making 26 off 21 balls, while Ravindra Jadeja could muster only 12.
Kagiso Rabada did the most damage to CSK batting with his 3 for 26. Anrich Nortje (2-21) and Axar Patel (1-18) also bowled well.
Earlier, Prithvi Shaw finally lived up to his huge potential to slam a brilliant fifty as Delhi Capitals scored 175 for 3. The dashing opener hammered 64 off just 43 balls to provide a flying start. The 20-year-old struck nine fours and a six to set up a solid platform for his side.
The left-right opening combination of Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan (35: 27 balls, 3×4, 1×6) worked perfectly for the Delhi Capitals. Shaw and Dhawan added 94 runs for the opening wicket after CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted to field.
However, when both the openers were going great guns, Dhawan and Shaw departed within a few balls which halted the tempo of DC.
Rishabh Pant was promoted in the order to accelerate the run-rate. The move clicked as the flamboyant left-hander smashed 37 not out off 25 balls. Pant stitched together a fruitful partnership of 58 runs with his skipper Shreyas Iyer, who contributed 26 off 22 deliveries.
In the last five overs, DC added 51 runs for the loss of Iyer. With plenty of wickets in hand, they could have went all out and reach near the 200-run mark. The way they started it looked they fell short of at least 15-20 runs.
Veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was the most successful bowler with two for 33. It was a good comeback for him after a below par performance in the first couple of matches. Sam Curran bowled an economical spell and returned with 1 for 27 from his four overs.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 175 for 3 in 20 overs (Prithvi Shaw 64, Rishabh Pant 37 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 35, Shreyas Iyer 26, Marcus Stoinis 5 not out; Piyush Chawla 2-33, Sam Curran 1-27) beat Chennai Super Kings 131 for 7 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 43, Kedar Jadhav 26, MS Dhoni 15, Shane Watson 14, Ravindra Jadeja 12, Murali Vijay 10; Kagiso Rabada 3-26, Anrich Nortje 2-21, Axar Patel 1-18) by 44 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals).