Chennai Thump Delhi By 93 Runs
Chennai Super Kings 177-7 (Raina 56) beat
Delhi Daredevils 84 (Ashwin 2-3) by 93 runs
Indian Premier League 2014, Abu Dhabi
The Chennai Super Kings hammered the Delhi Daredevils by 93 runs to record their first victory of the Indian Premier League 2014 in Abu Dhabi.
A comprehensive all-round victory also secured their highest winning margin in terms of runs.
Suresh Raina top scored with 56 as they posted 177 for seven before Delhi, batting a man short after an early injury to Nathan Coulter-Nile, managed just 84 in reply.
Their innings lasted just 15.4 overs as Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja and Ishwar Pandey took a brace of wickets apiece.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Brendon McCullum (9) and Dwayne Smith (29 in 28 balls) made a decent start before McCullum failed to capitalise on a dropped catch by JP Duminy by slicing Jaidev Unadkat to substitute fielder Wayne Parnell one ball later.
Parnell was on the field as a replacement for Coulter-Nile, who picked up a hamstring injury early on, denying Delhi the services of one of their premier fast bowlers and it certainly counted against them with Jimmy Neesham (1-29) expensive early on and Dinesh Karthik having to fill in by giving Murali Vijay an over of non-threatening off-spin.
His former team-mate Raina hit him for three fours in four balls on the way to his 19th IPL half-century having earlier put on a half-century stand with Smith for the second wicket.
Chennai reached their 100 in the 14th over, setting the platform to accelerate later on although Raina went little further, caught by Vijay off Neesham for 56 in 43 balls, including one straight six and five boundaries.
MS Dhoni brought out the helicopter shot to good effect, hammering Unadkat high and long, and also struck another maximum and two fours as he smashed 32 in 15 balls, and supported by Faf du Plessis (24 in 17 balls) Chennai added 112 runs in their last 10 overs.
Jadeja (7 in 3 balls) and Mithun Manhas (13 not out in 5 balls) also played their part although Unadkat did his best to keep Delhi in the game with a haul of three for 32, stepping up in the absence of Coulter-Nile to lead the attack.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem took one for 29 in three overs, bowling Smith with his arm ball while Mohammad Shami (1-45) had du Plessis caught in the deep but struggled to maintain control at the death and was punished accordingly.
It took a smart catch from Mayank Agarwal to see off Dhoni, who didn't quite get enough on a Unadkat slower ball and Ashwin was run out by Shami for one when Manhas, who ended the innings with a four to third man, drove straight back to the bowler.
Chennai, with Dwayne Bravo ruled out with what could be a tournament-ending collarbone injury, also dropped Ashish Nehra to bring in Pandey and Ben Hilfenhaus, the pair opening the bowling and keeping the Delhi openers in check.
The reward came in just the third over when Agarwal was brilliantly caught by Raina as he badly mistimed a drive off Pandey, departing for two in seven balls.
Murali Vijay (11 in 12) followed when he got plenty of height, but not enough distance on a straight drive and was well taken by a tumbling du Plessis off Mohit Sharma to leave the Daredevils 15 for two in the fourth over; not for the first time this season, early wickets leaving them under pressure.
Rather than Ross Taylor or JP Duminy it was Manoj Tiwary (0) who came in at number four but he spent a matter of minutes in the middle before du Plessis pulled off another blinding catch, again taking the ball as it was heading away from him, this time in the covers to reduce Delhi to 17 for three.
Unlike in their earlier matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, on this occasion there was to be no heroic recovery as wickets continued to tumble.
Duminy was trapped in front by Smith for 15, Taylor was caught by Dhoni off Hilfenhaus for six and Karthik was bowled by Ashwin for 21 in 22 balls.
Neesham hit a quickfire 22 in 15 balls before falling to Jadeja and Shami was caught by McCullum off Ashwin as the innings disintegrated with Chennai rapidly making some amends for their loss to the Kings XI Punjab in their opening game.
Another excellent catch finally ended the innings - with Coulter-Nile unable to bat - when Nadeem was taken by Raina to give Jadeja his second wicket.
That confirmed Chennai's biggest IPL victory margin and all six bowlers used picked up at least one wicket.
Ashwin returned the best figures of two for three, Jadeja two for 18, Pandey took two for 29, Hilfenhaus one for nine, Sharma one for 17 and Smith one for 14.
© Cricket World 2014